Police allegedly seize $14,000 in bath salts at Kingsport motel

Rain Smith • May 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Nearly $14,000 worth of bath salts has reportedly been seized from a Kingsport motel room, where police say they also located numerous electronic items believed to have been traded for the drugs. The room's occupants were arrested in the Wednesday discovery, marking one of the suspect's second synthetic drug related incident in just over a month. She was previously charged with felony child abuse when bath salts and syringes were found scattered throughout an apartment where she was staying — and allegedly within "immediate access" to a pair of juveniles. According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, officers had obtained information that a Jeep Cherokee may be transporting narcotics. The vehicle was reportedly spotted early Wednesday morning as it pulled into the Super 8 Motel on West Shipley Ferry Road.The driver and lone occupant, Kayla Crigger, 20, was approached by police and reportedly consented to a search. In her purse officers allegedly found four glass crack pipes, 12 pills, two digital scales and seven packs of bath salts. Crigger told police she was staying with her boyfriend, Michael Mangum, 41, in room 222. A subsequent search of the unit reportedly located 130 additional packs of bath salts, two additional scales, five smoking pipes and one bottle of liquid steroids. According to KPD Vice Detective Nathan Elliott, the demand and selling price for synthetic drugs has sky-rocketed since last year's ban on the substances in Tennessee. He said the current street rate for bath salts is $100 a gram, bringing the value of Wednesday's KPD seizure of 137 packets to $13,700. Police records state that a short time after searching the motel room Mangum arrived at the scene. Both he and Crigger were arrested without incident on multiple charges, including maintaining a dwelling for the manufacture, delivery or sell of controlled substances, possession of drugs for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Investigators also seized the Jeep Cherokee and $2,100 cash. Elliott said police located multiple electronics — TVs, iPads, PS3s — stashed in the motel room, with it believed the pair accepted them as trades from purchasers of bath salts. Crigger was previously arrested by the KPD on April 12. According to an incident report, police were responding to a complaint at Cloud Apartments when they located several unopened and empty baggies of bath salts within unit 83. Police say they also discovered 40 syringes, six rubber hoses, prescription pills and 12 glass smoking pipes throughout the residence — where two juveniles also lived and had "immediate access" to the materials. Crigger allegedly admitted to staying at the apartment and being aware of the items, prompting her arrest on felony child abuse or neglect and drug charges. Another resident of apartment, Jennifer Herndon, was also arrested at that time. A representative with Department of Children's Services responded in that incident, taking custody of the juveniles.

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