Leslie Stallard, 35, and Peggy Stallard, 53, of 1207 Camelia Ave., Kingsport.
KINGSPORT — On Tuesday, police searched a Kingsport residence they had been watching for several months. Investigators said their efforts yielded a “glorified crack house” peddling bath salts and prescription drugs from out of state.
The results of their search: six arrests and the seizure of $1,400 in cash, synthetic drugs, pills, Suboxone strips, handguns and ammo. Three pit bulls were also located in the home, one of which was deemed violent and had to be removed by animal control.
Kingsport Police Department Vice Detective Nathan Elliott said individuals had reported suspicious activity at the residence, 1207 Camelia Ave., multiple times a week over the past several months, including excessive pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During that time, authorities reportedly conducted surveillance on the home, stopping several visitors for traffic violations and allegedly discovering drugs in their possession.
Investigators said they also collected several pieces of evidence from an alley behind the residence.
“It was almost a prescription dumpsite, like a meth dumpsite,” said Elliott. “They were just tearing off labels from prescription bottles and throwing them in the street.”
Elliott said investigators continued building a case against the residents, Peggy Stallard, 53, and her son Leslie Stallard, 35. A break in their efforts occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday, when officers in KPD’s community policing unit knocked on the door to discuss the excessive citizen complaints they had received.
According to a police report, Peggy Stallard “invited in” the officers, who immediately observed “numerous syringes, numerous glass pipes and residue in plain view.” Elliott said police then asked to conduct a search of the residence, the Stallards and three additional individuals in the home and received permission to do so.
KPD Vice and Narcotics detectives were called to the scene. In Peggy Stallard’s purse they allegedly found five prescription pills, eight Suboxone film packs, a pill crusher and bottle of an “unknown liquid.” Police said her purse also contained 11 individual bags labeled “Dragon” insect repellent, with the product believed to be bath salts. They were sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab for testing and identification.
Under a recliner, officers allegedly found 11 additional pills that will be tested for identification. One visitor to the home, Samantha Mitchell, 22, 317 Old Beason Well Road, was reportedly found to be in possession of “numerous drug paraphernalia” and a tin foil containing a suspicious, unknown oil.
Another individual, Evelyn J. Vickers, 37, 4241 Maplewood St., allegedly had another bag of “Dragon.” Vickers, Mitchell and a third woman, Rebekah Seymore, 28, 237 Logan Chapel Road, Fall Branch, were all arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, and additional charges are pending.
The residents of the home were also arrested at the scene. Peggy and Leslie Stallard were each charged with maintaining a dwelling where illegal drugs are stored, sold or used, possession of Schedule II drugs for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Peggy Stallard was additionally charged with possession of Schedule III drugs for resale and possession of Schedule IV drugs.
Kingsport police said additional charges are pending against the suspects in relation to the discovery of the bath salts. Synthetic drugs of the sort were banned last year by Tennessee law but are still available elsewhere.
Elliott said the bath salts seized in Tuesday’s bust are believed to have been purchased in North Carolina.
Elliott also said the prescription drugs were obtained at a North Carolina pain clinic.
During the police search of the home, two pistols, a revolver, two magazines and other ammo were removed.
Police said once Peggy Stallard was booked into jail, “numerous” additional packets of bath salts were located — stashed away in her bra.
According to a police report, a “large amount of cash” was also found in her bra. In total, police seized nearly $1,400 in the arrests, all believed to be obtained through the sale of illegal drugs.
As vice officers continued to process evidence at the Camelia Avenue residence, a sixth individual was reportedly found “hiding in the bathtub.” He was allegedly found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and arrested. Police said he initially gave them a fake name.
That prompted an additional charge of identity theft against the suspect, Timothy Haynes, 27, 445 Eastley Court, Apt. 3C. A records check revealed he had an active warrant out of Sullivan County for failure to appear.
The home also contained three dogs, all pit bulls. Police said an acquaintance of Peggy Stallard took two of the dogs, while “violent” tendencies exhibited by the third prompted response and removal by animal control.
An investigation is continuing with additional charges pending. Police said the arrests were the result of cooperation between citizen tipsters and investigators, adding they encourage and follow up on all such reports of suspicious activity.