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Crime Local News

Car wash surveillance nets three drug arrests in Rogersville

November 11th, 2013 9:36 pm by Jeff Bobo

Car wash surveillance nets three drug arrests in Rogersville

William Thomas “Tommy” Burton Jr., left; Angela Gayle Albritton, center; Michelle LeeAnn Gibson, right

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man who was wanted on a parole violation warrant, driving with a revoked license, and had a stolen tag on his truck was arrested Friday night after police allegedly watched him selling drugs at a Rogersville car wash.

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit conducted a surveillance investigation late Friday on William Thomas “Tommy” Burton Jr., 36, 396 Old Route 70-S, Rogersville, at the Rub-A-Dub Car Wash on Main Street in Rogersville.

During the investigation, deputies confirmed he was wanted for parole violation, his driver’s license was revoked, and the license plate on the vehicle he was driving had been reported stolen in Hamblen County.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said his deputies observed people drive up and briefly visit with Burton, then drive away.

“After narcotic officers observed what appeared to be a hand-to-hand transaction between Mr. Burton and an unknown female driving a black Toyota Celica, a sheriff’s deputy followed the female as she drove away,” Lawson said. “The unidentified female was subsequently stopped for a traffic violation, at which time she was identified as Michelle LeeAnn Gibson. Further investigation revealed Ms. Gibson’s driver’s license to be suspended, as well as her to be in possession of Opana, which had already been pulled up into a syringe.” 

Gibson, 25, 526 Moore’s Chapel Road, Bean Station, was charged with possession of Schedule II narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended license. She was released on $15,000 bond.

Surveillance continued on Burton during Gibson’s arrest, and a short time later, another female got into Burton’s truck and they drove east on Main Street. As Burton was pulling into the Sonic restaurant parking lot on Main Street, narcotics officers conducted a traffic stop.

Burton was initially detained on the parole violation and driving on a revoked license.

The female passenger was then identified as Angela Gayle Albritton, 26, 145 South Fork Branch Road, Rogersville, who was released on bond two days earlier on a meth possession charge. She’d been arrested after police found her found lying in a ditch near Rogersville, allegedly with two baggies of meth in her pocket.

“Due to the conditions of Ms. Albritton’s previous release, it was court ordered to place her back into custody on a bond revocation,” Lawson said. “During a search of Ms. Albritton’s purse, a loaded syringe was located, which was determined to contain meth. Ms. Albritton was later found to have a felony amount of ice (meth) hidden on her person, which she voluntarily produced.” 

Lawson added, “Further investigation determined the felony amount of ice to originally belong to Burton, who had tossed it to Ms. Albritton for the purpose of concealing it during the traffic stop.” 

Deputies seized $1,300 in cash from Burton, as well as his truck. Burton’s vehicle allegedly contained a butterfly knife, which is a prohibited weapon, as well as used syringes.

Burton was charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft under $500, driving on a revoked license third offense, possession of a prohibited weapon and parole violation.

Albritton was charged with felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both remained held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending arraignment Wednesday.

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