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Drug suspect subdued after scuffle in Hawkins County

Jeff Bobo • Jan 17, 2013 at 9:40 AM

A Hawkins County man was arrested on charges including drug possession and felony tampering with evidence Tuesday after deputies allegedly found him attempting to “shoot up” Oxycodone while parked in an area of Rogersville known for drug activity.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ethan Mays was on patrol Tuesday when he reportedly observed a vehicle parked in the old rock quarry located off of McKinney Chapel Road in Rogersville.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said that is an area utilized for illegal drug transactions and use.

Lawson said Mays and Deputy Kenny Lunsford Jr. parked their patrol units a substantial distance from the suspected vehicle and approached it on foot.

“As the officers reached the vehicle, they observed a male occupant to have a belt tied around his upper arm, which was obviously being utilized as a tourniquet,” Lawson said. “This is a common method utilized by intravenous drug users when preparing to inject or ‘shoot-up’ controlled substances.”

The man, later identified as Dustin Alan Caldwell, 21, 155 Old Webster Valley Road, Rogersville, reportedly noticed the deputies as they neared his vehicle.

“He quickly untied the belt and threw it between his legs,” Lawson said. “Deputy Mays asked Mr. Caldwell if he was in possession of any illegal controlled substances, at which Mr. Caldwell replied ‘no.’ Mr. Caldwell then voluntarily produced the contents of his front pocket, at which time he attempted to conceal a blue 30-milligram Oxycodone pill in the bend of his index finger.”

Lawson added, “Deputy Mays then plainly observed the pill and advised Mr. Caldwell to surrender the pill. Mr. Caldwell then began physically pulling away from Deputy Mays while attempting to apparently throw the pill.

After a brief struggle, Mr. Caldwell was subdued and placed in custody.” The pill recovered by Mays was allegedly confirmed to be a 30-milligram Oxycodone which Lawson describes as a highly addictive Schedule II controlled substance.

Caldwell was charged with possession of Schedule II narcotics, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence, a Class C felony punishable by 3-6 years.

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