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Tipster leads MCPD to federal parolee wanted on gun, drug charges

Jeff Bobo • Oct 25, 2018 at 9:22 AM

MOUNT CARMRL — A tipster reportedly led Mount Carmel police to a federal parolee who was wanted after the MCPD allegedly discovered a large amount of guns, ammo and pills located at his residence Monday afternoon.

Mark Dakota Whitson, 26, 404 Cypress St., Mount Carmel, was arrested Tuesday around 9:30 p.m. in the Bloomingdale community area of Lucy Road.

MCPD Chief Grady White said that just as he and Sullivan County deputies arrived at the residence Whitson was attempting to leave.

"There was a short foot pursuit, and he gave up in less than 100 yards," White said.

White said the Times News online article Tuesday seeking information on Whitson’s whereabouts resulted in the tip that led to his arrest.

"We're still getting tips this morning about locations he's known to frequent," White said. "Some of the information we're receiving might be good for future investigations as well. If it's a place people say he's been hiding, that's probably a good indication that there's drug activity."

Whitson was arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions court on numerous 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.

He was ordered held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending his next court appearance on Nov. 26.

Monday afternoon the MCPD received a tip from state parole officer Lawson Burrow that Whitson had guns and drugs inside his home, specifically a large safe containing a large amount of ammo, weapons, and drugs.

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.

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