By Keeli Parkey
Four Johnson City residents face drug-related charges following a raid by the Unicoi County Sheriffs Department at a local business on Thursday, Jan. 9.
According to Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley, approximately one month ago his department received information that drugs were reportedly being sold from Unicoi Tire and Brake, 3801 Unicoi Drive, in the town of Unicoi. After receiving this information, Hensleys narcotics investigation unit began sending undercover officers and informants to the business to purchase pills including hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.
Investigators have conducted several operations where drugs have been purchased from the tire store, Hensley said. All of the individuals are involved in the sale of drugs from the tire store. Investigators can show several hundred narcotic grade pills have been sold from the business historically. Other individuals are under investigation for pill diversion who have frequented the business within the past several months.
Arrested during the raid were: Marcus Ryan Wright, 36, 412 W. Ninth Street, Johnson City; Arthur J. Burrell, Jr., 51, 119B Hillside Drive, Johnson City; and Sharon Laws, 56, 119B Hillside Drive, Johnson City.
Wright was charged with maintaining a dwelling where drugs are sold and criminal responsibility for the sale of a schedule II drug.
Burrell and Laws were both charged with sale of schedule II drugs.
According to Hensley, while the raid was in progress investigators learned that another individual, Lewis Lawrence Wilcox, 81, 103 Peggy Ln., Johnson City, was planning to come to the tire store to reportedly deliver pills.
An individual made contact with Wilcox and investigators listened to the conversation, Hensley said. We arranged to have him stop at another location to make the delivery. While investigators searched the business an undercover deputy intercepted a delivery of 90 hydrocodone pills being made by Wilcox on its way to the tire store.
Wilcox has been charged with delivery of a schedule III drug.
For the remainder of this article please see the 1/15/14 edition of The Erwin Record.