Hawkins County traffic stop leads to Kingsport man's arrest for possession, intent to sell bath salts

Jeff Bobo • Oct 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM

KINGSPORT — Hawkins County deputies arrested a Kingsport man Thursday night for allegedly trafficking bath salts after recognizing him as driving with a suspended license.

The HCSO Narcotics Unit and Patrol Division were conducting drug interdiction efforts in the Allandale area of Hawkins County late Thursday night.

During that time officers observed a 1997 Silver Honda CRV driven by Randy Wade Hilton, 35, 1236 Nassau Drive, Kingsport.

“Officers had prior knowledge that Mr. Hilton currently has a suspended driver’s license status, due to information gained during previous drug investigations involving Mr. Hilton,” said Sheriff Ronnie Lawson. “A traffic stop was conducted and Mr. Hilton was confirmed to have a suspended driver’s license.”

During a search of the vehicle, narcotics officers allegedly recovered five individual packages of “Panda Repellent” Bath Salts. Each package contained approximately one gram of the illegal bath salt substance.

Syringes were also allegedly recovered from Hilton’s vehicle.

“Previous investigation had revealed that Mr. Hilton possessed the bath salts with the intentions to resell them,” Lawson said. “Bath salts are commonly sold in half-gram increments for $60, or one- gram increments for $120. Total street value of this seizure is approximately $700.”

Possessing bath salts or other synthetic drugs with the intent to deliver or resell is a Class D felony.

Hilton was charged with possession of controlled substance analogues (Bath Salt) with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on suspended license third offense.

His vehicle was also seized by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Narcotics Officers.

As of Friday he remained lodged in the Hawkins County Jail on $75,000 bond with arraignment set for Oct. 29.

Hilton is also currently on probation for previous felony convictions.

Lawson added, “Since Hawkins County has been successful in slowing the local synthetic drug trade, we have seen a large increase in the importing of synthetic drugs, such as bath salts, from other states, especially North Carolina. Hawkins County Sheriff’s Narcotics Officers are currently involved in multiple investigations which target the trafficking of synthetic drugs from other states. We will continue to aggressively combat this problem, as we will all others.”

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