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Three charged in alleged jail drug smuggling scheme

June 10th, 2007 12:00 am by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE - Three suspects arrested last week in an alleged scheme to smuggle drugs into the Hawkins County Jail are scheduled for arraignment this morning before Judge David Brand.

According to Hawkins County Sheriff's Department arrest warrants, on June 4 jail deputies allegedly discovered a container holding a variety of narcotics in the rectum of work release inmate Joshua Brandon Lipton, 24, of Russellville. Lipton had been arrested in January on several traffic charges including DUI third offense.

Upon being interviewed by HCSO Narcotics Officer Gary Murrell, Lipton reportedly gave a written statement that he was bringing the drugs into the jail for fellow inmate Mitch Lois Butler, 26, 210 Coates Road, Rogersville. Butler was recently indicted by the Hawkins County Grand Jury on nine counts, including several driving offenses, possession of a prohibited weapon and aggravated assault.

Lipton reportedly confessed that as a favor to Butler he'd met with an alleged female accomplice, Julie Dawn Alvis, 20, 113 King Circle, Rogersville, at least five times in a Rogersville fast food restaurant parking lot to pick up narcotics packages which he then smuggled into jail in his rectum.

Allegedly among the narcotics inside the package on June 4 were approximately a quarter- ounce of marijuana, two Hydrocodone pills, four Xanax pills and one Oxycodone.

Lipton was charged with introduction of contraband into a penal institution, two counts of possession of Schedule II narcotics, possession of Schedule III narcotics and possession of Schedule IV narcotics. Butler and Alvis were each charged with one count of introduction of contraband into a penal institution.

In an unrelated case, Gregory Lee Morelock, 40, 815 Hammond Ave., Mount Carmel, was sentenced to three years in prison last week by Hawkins County Circuit Judge John Dugger in exchange for a guilty plea to introduction of contraband into a penal institution. Morelock's case stemmed from an incident that occurred in the Hawkins County Jail last October.

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