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Leaving a high drug activity area without seatbelts leads to two arrests in Middlesboro

From WRIL -

On Friday October 1, 2021, Middlesboro Officers observed a black Toyota 4Runner leaving from a high drug activity area on Winchester Avenue with the license plate not illuminated and no seat belts on the occupants.


Officers made contact with the driver and passenger, identified as 39-year-old Andrew Watkins and 55-year-old Jim Acelinger both of Middlesboro. Both men were asked for identification. Watkins gave his operator’s license, but couldn’t find proof of insurance, Acelinger provided his social security number.


Middlesboro Dispatch returned information that both men had active warrants, specifically Watkins who was wanted for failing to appear on trafficking charges that he was given bond.

Officer Ryan Collins asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and both men said no. Consent to search the vehicle was then asked and given by the men.


Found in the vehicle inside the passenger door under the window, was a tightly wrapped round object encased in black electrical tape and stuffed to appear as if it was part of the electrical wiring.


Inside the object was a large bag of a crystal-like substance believed to be Methamphetamine which Watkins took ownership of. He was then arrested and taken to the Middlesboro Police Department for processing.


At the police department, Officer Collins asked Watkins again if he had anything illegal on him and he stated there might be a “shot of heroin” in his waist band, which he then retrieved.


Andrew Watkins and Jim Acelinger were then lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.


Watkins was charged with Trafficking in controlled substance – 1st offense (Heroin), trafficking in controlled substance 1st degree, 1st offense (greater than two grams – Methamphetamine), tampering with physical evidence, bail jumping, failure to wear seat belts, and rear license not illuminated. He was also served with a violation of court order.


Acelinger was served three outstanding warrants.

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