Informant who set up quarter-pound meth sting fled before the deal was done

Jeff Bobo • Apr 5, 2018 at 5:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — A Kingsport man who allegedly ran from police last month while serving as a confidential informant during a sting operation he set up involving a quarter-pound of meth is facing multiple charges including felony escape.

Daniel Kent Wade, 46, Windsor Street, was originally arrested by Church Hill police on March 6 at the Church Hill Inn after officers allegedly linked him to a gun that was found hidden behind a vending machine.

Police were called to the motel by a female resident who said that Wade, her boyfriend, had been staying with her in a room.

When Wade returned home with two other women, however, the girlfriend refused to let him in the room, which was in her name.

Police were called after Wade allegedly attempted to force his way into the room.

The girlfriend stated Wade had a small black handgun tucked into his waistband.

When police arrived, they found Wade and the two women at the rear of the motel.

CHPD Detective Ethan Mays stated in his report that motel security video showed Wade walking behind a vending machine shortly before police arrived.

Upon searching that area, police located a .380 handgun, a meth pipe and a small box containing empty baggies and a meth scoop.

Wade, a convicted felon, was informed he would be arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony reckless endangerment for hiding a loaded firearm in an open area accessible to children.

Wade reportedly asked Mays if he could become a confidential informant, stating he could have large amounts of meth delivered to him at the Church Hill Inn.

“Mr. Wade identified numerous drug dealers in the region, and using his cell phone, began attempting to order meth," Mays said. “Mr. Wade eventually was successful in ordering a quarter-pound of meth from a female in Kingsport. She and an unknown male were to deliver that narcotics back to the room Mr. Wade was originally staying in at the Church Hill Inn.”

A quarter-pound of meth is 112 grams with a street value of approximately $11,000.

While Mays and Wade were in the motel room waiting for the delivery, the female called back and switched the delivery location to the Church Hill Food City parking lot.

While they were at the parking lot, Wade asked for a napkin and stepped out of Mays’ vehicle with his phone. Mays said Wade stepped away about 15 feet and he thought Wade was receiving a video chat from the female and didn’t want the police vehicle in the background.

Moments later, Wade stepped behind the building. It was foggy, and by the time Mays was able to get out of the vehicle, Wade had disappeared.

Wade was arraigned Monday in Sessions Court and as of Thursday was being held in the Hawkins County Jail on $20,000 bond pending a court appearance set for April 11.

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