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Middlesboro Man Wanted For Vehicle Thefts Arrested - Found With A Gun and Drugs

From WRIL The Big One -

On Tuesday April 30, 2024, Middlesboro Officer John Kinder was on routine patrol when he saw a blue Mitsubishi Sedan traveling north on 25th street. He recognized the driver, 20-year-old Keontay Collett, who he knew to be wanted for vehicle thefts and have outstanding warrants.

The officer attempted to make a traffic stop and Collett "took off at a high rate of speed". After turning on his lights and siren, Officer Kinder pursued the Sedan on multiple roads in the Binghamtown community which ended with Collett pulling into the driveway of a residence on Redwood Road.

The officer pulled into the driveway and waited on other police units before approaching the vehicle which he found empty without keys inside. The odor of Marijuana was coming from inside the car. Found laying on the sidewalk in front of the Sedan was a warm-to-the-touch .380 Highpoint handgun loaded with three rounds and one in the chamber.

Joined by Officer Morgan Justice, Kinder searched the vehicle finding a jar containing a green-leafy substance in a baggy and another baggy containing a crystal-like substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Also, found in the back seat was a bag with Collett's identification, individual baggies used for trafficking drugs, and a set of scales with drug residue.

Officer Kinder states he then heard an ATV on Dalewood Road and he advised Officer Justice to go in the direction of the vehicle and see who was on it. Kinder then sees the ATV on Ellenwood road with three individuals with one wearing a face covering. Officer Justice makes a traffic stop on the ATV at Polar Bear Avenue finding Collett to be one of the three, placing him under arrest. $71.00 in cash was found on Collett believed to be the proceeds from drug trafficking as well as keys that fit the door and ignition of the Sedan.

Prior to this incident, Collett was found in possession of a 2010 Dodge Journey valued at $7,000 on March 14th that had been stolen from a woman in Middlesboro according to Middlesboro Officer Jake Partin. Additionally Officer Bucky Harris took out a warrant on Collett after he stole a vehicle from a Highway 441 address on February 27th. Middlesboro Police recovered both vehicles shortly after they were stolen. Collett had fled the scene in each incident.

Keontay Collett was lodged in the Bell County Detention Center charged with fleeing or evading police - 1st degree (motor vehicle), reckless driving, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, disregarding a stop sign, trafficking in marijuana (less than 8oz.), and trafficking in controlled substance - 1st degree, 1st offense - less than 2 grams (Methamphetamine). He was served warrants for receiving stolen property over $1,000 but under $10,000, theft by unlawful taking auto - over $10,000 but under $1,000,000, a felony probation violation, and a mandatory reentry parole violation.

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