Car parked on Kingsport sidewalk, key falling from woman's bra lead police to drugs in safe

Rain Smith • Feb 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — An unoccupied car parked on a Kingsport sidewalk — and a key falling from a woman’s bra — led police to a safe stocked with nearly 100 prescription pills intended for sale on the street, say Kingsport police.

Debra J. Donahue, 50, has been arrested on felony drug charges.

According to a report from the Kingsport Police Department, the incident occurred about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday at 746 Myrtle St. Officers responded to the location after a complaint of an unoccupied car with its engine running, parked on the sidewalk.

Police observed the vehicle and knocked on the door of the residence where it was parked. Donahue answered, advising that she leased the home. Police said four additional people were present, and Donahue gave verbal consent to a check of the house for other individuals.

According to the report, a metal smoking pipe containing green residue and a pill crusher with white residue were observed in plain view in one of the bedrooms. In another bedroom police reported finding a second pill crusher with white residue, several empty prescription bottles without labels, and empty plastic baggies.

When asked about the materials, Donahue allegedly told police that nothing else illegal was present. She gave consent for police to search the rest of her home, then asked to use the bathroom.

A female officer accompanied Donahue, asking for consent to search her before she used the restroom.

According to the police report, “Ms. Donahue pulled up her shirt, grabbed her bra, and a small metal key fell to the ground.”

When asked what the key was for, Donahue advised it opened a safe located in her bedroom closet. She then allegedly told police the safe contained illegal pills.

The report states numerous baggies of narcotics were found within the safe: 49 Promethazine, 30 oxycodone, 10 Alprazolam and seven white pills that were not identified.

The safe also contained empty baggies, empty pill bottles without labels, two straws, $288 in cash and “notes with handwritten amounts on pills and their street value.”

Donahue allegedly told police she did not have prescriptions for the drugs and intended to sell them “on the street.”

Donahue’s residence is within 1,000 feet of New Horizons Alternative School, prompting charges of possession of Schedule II, Schedule IV and legend drugs for resale within 1,000 feet of a school. She was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug without a prescription, and maintaining a dwelling where illegal narcotics are used, sold or stored.

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