Informant skims cash, meth during police drug sting

Jeff Bobo • Feb 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Turning drug informant is sometimes an option for petty crooks to avoid serious jail time, assuming they don’t try to steal some of the buy money and drugs they’re purchasing for narcotics officers.

Johnny Trevor Parson, 22, 452 Hickory Cove Road, Apt. 1, Rogersville, was facing a year in prison after being arrested for cashing two phony payroll checks in Rogersville last September for $478.89 and $452.89, respectively.

According to court records, Parson agreed to become a confidential drug informant for the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office in exchange for leniency on two counts of forgery.

On Dec. 10, 2008, Parson met HCSO Narcotics Unit Detective David Benton and Sgt. Chad Gillenwater at an undisclosed location for the purpose of making an undercover drug purchase.

According to an arrest warrant filed by Gillenwater, Parson was given $100 by Benton and instructed to purchase $100 worth of methamphetamine from “an undisclosed individual from Hawkins County.”

“Detective Benton then drove Mr. Parson to the point of purchase, and Mr. Parson entered the home and completed the methamphetamine purchase,” Gillenwater said. “Detective Benton then drove Mr. Parson back to an undisclosed location, at which time Detective Benton and myself weighed the purchased substance and discovered it was less than half the total amount purchased. Upon investigation it was determined that Mr. Parson had purchased two baggies of methamphetamine and had only paid $70 for it.

“Mr. Parson was then confronted, at which time he produced another baggie of methamphetamine and $30. Mr. Parson then stated he had kept the methamphetamine to try to make some money off of it.”

Parson appeared before Judge John Dugger in Hawkins County Circuit Court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to the original two counts of forgery, as well as new charges of possession of Schedule II narcotics for resale and misdemeanor theft.

He was sentenced to one year in prison on the forgery charges and ordered to pay restitution to Food City and Liberty Market, where the phony payroll checks were passed.

Parson was also sentenced to three years and fined $2,000 on the drug and theft charges. That three years must be served consecutively to the forgery charges for a total of four years in prison.

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