Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Suspected crystal meth found during traffic stop

meth arrest, 4-28-16
Around 10:30 p.m. April 28, 2016, Deputy Andrew Lawson was patrolling along Hwy 1193 and conducted a traffic stop after he observed a vehicle cross out of its lane of travel. The driver, Ricky Smith, 33, of Gray, was asked to perform field sobriety tests and was determined to not be under the influence.
In plain view was one hypodermic needle laying in the floorboard. A search of the vehicle revealed more hypodermic needles, digital weighing scales and small plastic bags. In a driver’s side compartment, deputies found approximately seven grams of a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine. On his person, Smith had over $4,000 in cash.
Ricky Smith was arrested and charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia and improper equipment.
Deputy Jonas Saunders arrested a passenger, 35-year-old Jerry Smith, on a warrant for failure to appear. Both men were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Single vehicle wreck along Hwy 1804

Around 3:05 p.m. April 22, 2016, Sergeant Kirk Mays and Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to the I-75 underpass on Hwy 1804 regarding a single vehicle wreck.
A 1999 Toyota Corolla collided with one of the I-75 bridge support beams. Wet roads likely contributed to the wreck, and speed is a potential factor.
The driver, Justice B. Upton, was transported by ambulance to Jellico Community Hospital. Upton was later transferred by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and hospital officials there say he has now been released.
Members of the South Whitley fire department responded to the scene.

Traffic stop results in two arrests

On April 17, 2016, Sergeant Kirk Mays observed a black Ford truck swerving out of its lane of travel. Sgt. Mays stopped the vehicle near G& E Drive In along Hwy 25. The driver, Johnny Johnson, 38, of Williamsburg could not complete field sobriety tests and was determined to be driving on a DUI suspended license. Johnson was arrested by Sgt. Mays and charged with DUI, driving on DUI suspended license, reckless driving, having an obstructed windshield and failure to maintain insurance.

Joshua Walters, 27, of Rockholds, was a passenger in the truck and was found to have two warrants for his arrest. One warrant was issued by Knox County and the other by Whitey County officials. Upon searching Walters, Deputy Jonas Saunders located a hypodermic needle in one pants pocket and three green pills believed to be Xanax in another pocket. Walters was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also served with the two warrants.

Johnson and Walters were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Sgt. Mays and Dep. Saunders were assisted by Williamsburg Police Department K9 Officer Elijah Hunter.

Concerned caller leads to stolen vehicle recovery

Around 7:40 p.m. April 21, 2016, Sergeant Kirk Mays and Deputy Andrew Lawson responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint. Located in the parking lot of Pleasant View Baptist Church was a silver Volvo sedan.

Dep. Lawson spoke to the passenger, Jesse Johnson, 20, of Corbin. He stated that the driver parked the vehicle there and walked to a nearby residence.

Whitley County E911 dispatchers reported that the vehicle, based on its license plate and description, was reported stolen from Sevierville, Tennessee.

After obtaining the driver’s name, Sgt. Mays and Dep. Lawson went to a Westside Street residence and located the driver of the vehicle. Devin T. Carroll, 21, of Williamsburg, admitted to stealing the vehicle.

Carroll and Johnson were charged with receiving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more. Carroll was also served with a warrant for non-payment of fines. Both men were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Two vehicle collision

1 wreck
Around 11:22 a.m. April 21, 2016, Deputy Cody Harrell responded to a wreck on US Hwy 25, approximately 1.3 miles South of Corbin. According to initial reports, two vehicles collided head-on, and at least one person was entrapped. Members of the Oak Grove and Woodbine fire departments responded to extricate two men from a vehicle.
At this time, the investigation suggests that a 2014 Kia sedan was travelling North when it veered into the southbound lane and struck a 2001 Chevrolet pickup.
The passenger of the sedan, 21-year-old Joshua Vanover, was treated at the scene and airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The driver over the truck, Gary Amburgey, 56, of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, was transported by ambulance for treatment at Baptist Health Corbin.
The driver of the Kia sedan, Willard Brown, Jr., 36, of Gray, Kentucky, passed away during medical transport.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley responded. Dep. Harrell was assisted at the wreck scene by Dep. Joe Prewitt and Kentucky State Police Trooper Dave Lassiter.
The sheriff’s department asks that you keep the family and friends of all involved in your thoughts and prayers.
(Photo courtesy of The News Journal)