ROGERSVILLE — An observant Mount Carmel Police Department officer helped Hawkins County deputies nab three suspects accused of stashing a large quantity of tobacco and two pills in a jail air vent that leads into “E” block Monday night.
MCPD Officer Stacey Vaughan told the Times-News he’d just processed a suspect at the jail for driving on a revoked license and was driving out of the jail parking lot shortly after 9 p.m. when he observed a man attempting to stuff something into an outside air vent on the east side of the jail.
When the man, identified as Danny Ray Bledsoe, 24, 154 Cedar Hills Road, Rogersville, noticed Vaughan’s patrol car, he allegedly sprinted to a green 1995 Nissan Maxima parked in the nearby J&D Barber Shop parking lot.
Vaughan detained the occupants of vehicle, including Shanna Christie Major, 31, 452 Hickory Cove Road, Rogersville, and Neochie Pearlie Delph, 29, 1016 Locust St., Rogersville, and called for backup from the Rogersville and county departments.
Also in the vehicle was Major’s small child.
HCSO Cpl. Keith Long stated in his report that the vent enters “E” block and is a known location where contraband has been left. Long stated that jail deputy Danita Caldwell searched the area of the vent and found a package that had apparently fallen to the ground when Bledsoe fled.
Inside the package were seven unopened boxes of Top cigarette tobacco, three bags of candy and a Marlboro cigarette pack that contained two pills believed to be Alprazolam and Suboxone.
Initially the women in the vehicle told police they didn’t know Bledsoe. Later they allegedly gave statements that Bledsoe is Major’s boyfriend, that Major drove by the jail and that Bledsoe got out to put items in the jail vent while the other two parked and waited for him.
All three were charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution, and all three are scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Dec. 15.