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POLICE: Man stashed $30k in coffee cans; drugs found in pickle and Mason jars

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40 arrested in one of county's largest drug sweeps

 Operation Spring Cleaning was in the works for a year when it culminated Monday with the arrest of nearly 40 people — including one man who allegedly buried more than $30,000 in coffee cans and hid marijuana in various pickle and Mason jars. 

“Through a series of strategic undercover narcotics buys and on-going undercover investigations we were able to obtain 63 indictments from the grand jury,” said Sheriff Robbie Goins. “All that was left was to start making the arrests.”

And that is what 10 teams set out to do just before sunrise Monday.

Assisted by the United States Marshal Service, the Great Smokey Mountain Fugitive Task Force, the Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission, Tennessee Bomb and Arson, along with officers from the Caryville and Jacksboro Police Departments, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department began serving the indictments.

Among those arrested was Michael W. Willis, 51, 1183 Lynch Hollow Road, LaFollette.

Officers arrived at his home early Monday with the warrant alleging he was trafficking narcotics, specifically the delivery and sell of marijuana.

When police arrived they observed him walking through the home, said CCSD Chief Deputy Aaron Evans. They also noticed he was carrying a jar, which he quickly threw down.

Once Willis allowed the officers in the home, a search revealed the container he was carrying was a pickle jar allegedly containing marijuana, said Goins. It was found under a bed where it had rolled when Willis threw it.

Following information authorities gleaned during the undercover portion of the operation, authorities moved the search outside. Scouring a wooded area behind Willis’ Lynch Hollow Road home, officers began unearthing a cache of cash and marijuana.

As the search began officers immediately discovered a Folgers’s coffee can buried in a shallow spot. When they dug up the can, it was discovered that it held a bag of marijuana, Goins said. Ten feet from that discovery was a kitchen garbage bag loaded with marijuana. Going deeper into the woods police allegedly found a mason jar filled with marijuana buried in another thinly covered area.

At this point the decision was made to have a K-9 officer join the search.

CCSD Deputy Darrell Mongar, assisted by K-9 Deputy Dano, soon began finding additional stashes of marijuana and money.

The money was also buried in Folgers coffee cans. In two separate cans buried a few yards apart was more than $30,000 in hundreds, fifties and twenties, Goins said.

Authorities also seized four vehicles and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“This is the fourth time we have been to the Willis home to serve a warrant of this nature,” Evans said.

Throughout the day officers continued to apprehend the fugitives.

“We literally had cases in every part of the county,” Goins said. “The size of this round up is indicative of the problem this county has with drugs and how many hours went into building these cases.”

The bonds set for the suspects were also in line with their alleged crimes.

Five of those arrested had $200,000 bonds while 13 of the alleged offenders had bonds of $100,000. Others detained were denied bail, according to jail records.

 

Arrested in Operation Spring Cleaning were:

Jennifer A. Allen, 39, 173 Pack St, Jacksboro, capias.

Trellis T. Ayers, 54, 167 Crutchfield Lane, Jacksboro, capias.

Christopher T. Blackwell, 25, 889 Hilltop Dr., Jacksboro, capias.

Donnie Ray Burris, 54, 2796 Old Highway 116, Caryville, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Jeffery Byrge, 47, 314 W. Fir St., Jacksboro, capias.

Danny L. Dople, 56, 914 Hill St., Jellico, capias.

Thomas Ray Garrett, 41, 513 Sand Gap Rd., Pioneer, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Donna M. Gillum, 41, 190 Weir Woods, Jacksboro, violation of probation.

Brandon D. Graves, 39, 1342 Jones Ridge Road, Speedwell, possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Gary Lynn Green, 56, 590 Hoot Owl Hollow, Jellico, capias.

Lela Nicole Hawn, 31, 653 Car Wynn Road, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

John Allen Hunley, 39, 209 Summit Drive, Speedwell, capias.

Hattie C. Jones, 282 Clausen Rd., LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Terry Kellogg, 65, 520 Main St., Jellico, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Robert Mack Kennedy, 31, 227 Terry Creek Lane, Pioneer, capias.

Jonathan James Kilgore, 47,176 Moonview Dr., LaFollette, capias.

Kelly Lambert, 42, 205 Wells Lane, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Bobby J. Lay, 20, 456 Wouldridge Lane, Newcomb, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Melvin E. Lee, 45, 360 Bibey Lane, Caryville, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Jeffery S. McCullah, 33, 138 Little Circle, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Joshua Mefford, 30, 121 Cove Norris Road, Caryville, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Wendy Mefford, 29, 121 Cove Norris Road, Caryville, capias.

Michael W. Pistello, 66, 162 Brown Crest Road, LaFollette, capias.

Terry L. Powell, 55, 113 Nevada Ave., LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Emma Sue Rutherford, 52, 311 S. Cumberland Ave., LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Tasha Lynn Shears, 30, 312 Pleasant Ridge Road, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Roland K. Shelton, 62, 130 Island Ford Road, Jacksboro, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Travis D. Shelton, 29, 118 Scenic Drive, Jacksboro, capias.

Bradley E. Sweat, 38, 372 McKinney Road, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

George E. Tibbs, 64, 901 Low Gap Road, LaFollette, capias.

Angela L. Truitt, 715 Beech St., LaFollette, capias.

Charlana N. Woolley, 37, 1558 Back Valley Road, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Sandy L. Wright, 52, 233 Vinsant Estates, Jacksboro, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

Tammy M. Young, 45, 1414 Back Valley Road, LaFollette, capias. 

Willard D. Young, 44, 1414 Back Valley Road, LaFollette, manufacture, sell, delivery of a controlled substance.

On Tuesday Goins said anyone not arrested in  the beginning phase of the round up would remain a priority until they were located.

Those arrested in
Operation Spring Cleaning will be arraigned in criminal court on April 15.