From WRIL -
On Sunday, October 17, 2021, Middlesboro Officers responded to Walmart parking lot in reference to an intoxicated man wearing a hat and blue jeans attempting to enter the store after hours. Once on scene, Officer Ryan Collins made contact with a man standing beside a Pontiac G6. The individual was asked if he tried to enter the store and stated he did not, but his sister-in-law’s friend did. He said the two were sitting inside the vehicle.
As he approached the passenger side of the car, Officer Collins saw the male passenger holding a prescription bottle with no label with what appeared to be multiple kinds of pills inside the container. The man, later identified as 37-year-old Samuel Griffin of Pathfork, Ky., saw the officer and tried to hide the bottle between the seat and center console. Griffin would not comply with the officer when told to stop concealing the bottle and was ordered out of the car. He was then detained in the officer’s cruiser.
Officer Collins then had the driver, later identified as 25-year-old Chelsea Howard of Hulen, Ky., step out of the vehicle. The vehicle was then searched by Collins where Griffin attempted to hide the pill bottle and he retrieved it. Also found was a Gabapentin pill in the center console. Inside the pill bottle was found Alprazolam, Gabapentin, and over the counter pills.
Officer Collins then had Griffin step out of his cruiser telling him he was under arrest. A search incident to arrest revealed a .22 caliber Magnum pistol in his pants pocket along with $1174 in small denominations consistent with drug trafficking. Griffin was also determined to be a convicted felon.
Samuel Griffin was charged with trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense (under 10 dosage units – drug unspecified schedule 1 & 2), two counts of trafficking in legend drugs – 1st offense, two counts of trafficking in controlled substance – 3rd degree, 1st offense (under 20 dosage units - drug unspecified), possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, tampering with physical evidence, and he was served a probation violation.
He is being held on a $5,000 cash bond.
Chelsea Howard was found to have a criminal summons and outstanding warrant. A search of her purse revealed five more Gabapentin pills similar to the one found in the center console. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was served the bench warrant.
She has since been released.