Open door policy leads to drug charges for Hawkins County couple

Jeff Bobo • Sep 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Police say a lack of discretion was the downfall of a couple accused of dealing marijuana from their Rogersville apartment.

Last Wednesday evening, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Rogersville Police Department to see if a suspect from an assault that occurred in the county was at home at the Boyd Street Apartments, 329 Boyd St., Rogersville.

As officers were walking toward the suspect’s apartment, however, they passed Apt. 24, which had its front door open. That apartment is the home of Gregory Casey Stewart, 20, and Brittany Nicole Charles, 19.

“Walking up the steps we smelled the marijuana, the door was open, and the marijuana was on a table in plain view for officers to see,” RPD Officer Chris Pinkston said. “That’s how we got into the apartment. Consent was given by the occupants for a search, and upon searching we found the marijuana and other items listed in the arrest report.”

Approximately 4 ounces of marijuana were seized from the residence, the majority of which was separated into four baggies. Also seized from the residence were eight Valium pills, eight Xanax pills, two Soma pills, baggies, scales, and in plain view on their coffee table were crushed pills, straws, rolling papers, loose marijuana and a digital scale.

“The odor of the marijuana was real strong, and I could actually smell it as soon as I stepped out of the patrol car,” Pinkston said. “I don’t know why (they left their door open), but I was kind of wondering that myself. If you’re doing something illegal like that you probably want to keep your door shut.”

Stewart and Charles were each charged with possession of Schedule III narcotics, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of marijuana for resale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were released on bond and are scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Oct. 1.

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