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MCPD seeks federal parolee after large cache of guns and drugs seized from his home

Jeff Bobo • Oct 23, 2018 at 1:30 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — Police are looking for a federal parolee living in Mount Carmel who was allegedly found Monday to be in possession of loaded guns, a large quantity of ammo, a bullet proof vest, 1,200 Xanax pills, and Fentanyl.

Shorty before 5 p.m. Monday, Mount Carmel Police Department Officer Chris Vaughan was asked by state parole officer Lawson Burrow to conduct a search on the residence of Mark Dakota Whitson, 26, 404 Cypress St.

Burrow reportedly received a tip that Whitson had guns and drugs inside his home, specifically a large safe containing a large amount of ammo, weapons, and drugs.

As a federal parolee, Whitson can't refuse a police search of his home or person, but when the MCPD arrived he was gone. His girlfriend reportedly stated he had gone to the bank and was expected back in less than an hour.

In Whitson's room, police allegedly found a GI Expert 1911 .45 caliber pistol with a loaded magazine, as well as parts to an AR-15 style rifle, handgun cases and an open safe with a .223 bullet and a .22 bullet lying inside.

Also located in Whitson's room were a glass pipes and a grinder with a green leafy substance inside and a blue bag with some broken up unknown pill.

In the basement police found a marijuana plant growing in a pot under a light, as well as a large black safe that matched the description given by Burrow.

By then, Whitson was overdue by more than two hours but was texting and stating he was about to pull in.

Instead, he reportedly sent a friend who said he didn't know why he was told to come by Whitson. The friend said he had dropped Whitson off on G Street in Kingsport to get a tattoo.

The friend said the handgun and rifle parts found in the bedroom were his but the safe belonged to Whitson.

Upon breaking open the safe, police allegedly found a loaded shotgun with the serial number scraped off, a mini AR-15, a loaded .380 handgun, two bags full of ammo and weapon parts including a 50-round drum magazine, a military style bullet proof vest, loaded magazines, and receipt books.

There was also a large bag containing 1,200 Xanax pills that were packaged by amount and vacuum sealed and a small bag of what is believed to be Fentanyl.

A warrant was issued for Whitson on charges including unlawful possession of a weapon, alteration of serial number, possession of Schedule IV narcotics with intent to deliver, manufacturing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anyone with information about Whitson's whereabouts is asked to call the MCPD at (423) 357-4141, or call 911 and report it to their own law enforcement agency.

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