Woman arrested on drug charge


By Reina P. Cunningham - [email protected]



A Middlesboro woman is behind bars after officers say she was caught with drugs around her 5-month-old son.

According to Middlesboro Police Department Sgt. Joe Holder, Ashley V. Barnett, 24, had in her possession, in her home, a make-shift methamphetamine pipe, three make-shift glass pipes containing cocaine, two spoons with a residue stated to be buprenophine, a marijuana pipe and numerous needles.

The arrest citation states Barnett had the drugs and paraphernalia “in close proximity” of her 5-month-old son.

In other police news, the Bell County Sheriff’s Department was performing an extra patrol in the Polly Hollow community of Middlesboro when Deputy Michael Bradley and Deputy Robin Venable observed a 2001 Silver Ford Escape operated by Eric B. Baker of Middlesboro parked at the graveyard off of Polly Hollow/Right Fork.

According to a press release, the deputies had received several complaints of illegal drug usage and disregarded syringes being dumped in the area. Upon approaching the vehicle, deputies say they observed Baker reaching below and behind his seat. Upon contact with the operator, Bradley and Venable advised Baker to stop moving inside the vehicle.

The release goes on to say Baker was asked if there were any weapons on his person or inside the vehicle and then he was asked to step out of the vehicle. Baker was frisked for weapons and a cigarette pack containing a plastic wrap and ball of foil was discovered in his front right pants pocket. When questioned, Baker allegedly stated there was half of a Subutex pill inside the foil. When asked about any illegal substances inside the vehicle, Baker allegedly stated there were two syringes located next to the center console, beside the rear of the driver’s seat.

Eric B. Baker, 24, of Middlesboro, prescription controlled substance not in original container, second-degree possession of a controlled substance, theft by unlawful taking and drug paraphernalia.

Others recently arrested include:

*Megan Shephard, 24, of Baxter, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), first-degree possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, operating on a suspended/revoked operators license, failure of non-owner to maintain required insurance, failure to produce insurance card and served a bench warrant.

*Irene White, 38, of Middlesboro, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine);

*Daniel Benz, 28, of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, fugitive — warrant not required;

*Phillip E. Barnhill, 39, of Loyall, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and served a bench warrant.

Reach Reina P. Cunningam at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.

By Reina P. Cunningham

[email protected]

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