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Grand jury indicts former sheriff's son for selling morphine

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By Sam Smith

 LaFOLLETTE—The son of former Sheriff Rose Kitts was indicted by a Campbell County grand jury Monday after an undercover sting by law enforcement. 

Billy Jack “Cotton” Kitts, 68, was charged with selling and delivering morphine. 

He was arrested outside of LaFollette at his Pleasant Ridge home, where the sting started months prior.

“It’s a shame to treat a legacy like that,” said Chief Deputy Aaron Evans of Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. “A real shame.”

Sheriff Kitts, who passed away in 1978, was a popular man who served seven terms as the head of the county’s law enforcement. In 1971, he had the second best conviction record in East Tennessee with 125 felony convictions.

“It is again sad and very apparent that someone’s family history and upbringing does not always fall in line as to what they are taught as children as to what they do as adults,” Sheriff Robbie K. Goins stated in a press release. “It’s unfortunate we see another sad case like this. We can say for certain that no matter who you are, how you were raised, where you live or what you do, we will investigate, pursue, arrest and prosecute anyone who takes illegal actions of selling narcotics and helps bury society and our young people deeper in a hole of death that we all know for sure drug addiction and drug-dealing will lead them to. We will not and cannot tolerate it.”

Goins also referenced the drug abuse problem in the community, saying, “When I was first elected, we were seeing more methamphetamine. Now we see the prescription meds — a lot more.” 

“Cotton” Kitts faces a $100,000 bond and remains in the Campbell County jail.