Middlesboro City Police Officer Barry Cowan is continuing with his persistence to take meth off the streets of Middlesboro after he reportedly seized over a pound of crystal meth (ICE) during a traffic stop Wednesday night.
According to MPD Chief Jeff Sharpe, Cowan arrested a Tennessee man on felony drug charges.
“Nearly 1 ½ pounds of methamphetamine and over $2,800 in cash were seized from Michael Smith, who is from Claiborne County, Tennessee,” Sharpe said. “Officer Cowan approached Smith while he was parked at a residence on Doncaster Avenue around 9:45 p.m. After discovering the drugs, Officer Cowan charged Smith.”
Several other items were also confiscated at the scene.
Smith, 35, was charged with first-degree trafficking a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. He was lodged in the Bell County Detention Center and appeared before Bell District Court Judge Robert Yoakum on Thursday morning.
“Tonight’s case involved the department’s largest single methamphetamine seizure — more than double the half-pound seizure Officer Cowan made earlier this year,” Sharpe said. “Meth use is increasing dramatically in the south, and based on the seizures, it is probably the most-used drug of abuse in Bell County at present. While the Middlesboro Police Department places the highest priority on drug enforcement, we can do little without community involvement. We welcome any information concerning drug traffic — anonymous tips are accepted.”
The case remains under investigation by Cowan.
In an unrelated incident, Cowan arrested Roger Bray, 36, of Danielsville, Georgia, on Sept. 20 during a traffic stop.
Cowan said he observed Bray operating a motor vehicle on 19th Street with no seat belt on. He stopped the vehicle on 17th Street and Cumberland Avenue.
Cowan stated that following a consent to search, he located a bag of crystal meth in Bray’s shorts pocket.
Bray was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and no seat belt. He was lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.
In other police news:
• Brandon Cavins, 33, of Middlesboro, was arrested on Sept. 21 by MPD Lt. Tom Busic on a charge of first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
• Shanell Ervin, 32 of Middlesboro, was arrested on Sept. 21 by MPD Officer Michael Bradley on two counts of second-degree assault.
• Lonnie Rogers Jr., 38, of Middlesboro, was arrested on Sept. 21 by MDP Officer Jeremiah Johnson on charges of trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school, first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a minor, failure to use a child restraint and served a bench warrant.
• Brandi Norris, 32, of Pineville, was arrested on Sept. 20 by Bradley on charges of first-degree promoting contraband, public intoxication, theft by unlawful taking (shoplifting), first- and second-degree possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of a legend drug, tampering with physical evidence, possession of marijuana, possession of a drug paraphernalia, second-degree criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.
All arrested were lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.
Reach Debbie Caldwell at 606-302-9100 or on Twitter @raiders42