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Traffic stop nets two for large amount of drugs and drug overdose in jail

From WRIL - The Big One -

On Thursday, July 13th, 2023, Middlesboro Officer Ryan Collins conducted a traffic stop on a Nissan Xterra SUV on Highway 25E northbound just past the bridge in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This was after the vehicle made several lane changes attempting to create distance from the officer's cruiser.


At the stop, the officer made contact with 52-year-old James Wicker and passenger 30-year-old Shelby Young, both of Tazewell, Tn. who appeared very nervous according to Collins. Wicker's license, insurance, and registration were asked for, but nothing was provided. Through name confirmation and birthdate, it was discovered that Wicker had a DUI revoked license from Tennessee. Young provided a false name, and it was later discovered she had an outstanding Bell County warrant and was arrested.


Wicker was detained and asked if anything illegal was in the vehicle and he said no. Consent to search his person and vehicle was asked, but he only agreed to being personally searched. Sgt. K-9 Nick Capps and K-9 Rahab were requested for an open-air sniff around the vehicle while Wicker was detained in Collin's cruiser. After being asked again about anything illegal in the vehicle, Wicker admitted there were ten ounces of Methamphetamine in the engine compartment which was confirmed by an alert given by K-9 Rahab.


Found in the vehicle's engine area were two brown paper bags containing thirteen large bags of suspected Methamphetamine and a large single bag of a gray powdery substance believed to be Fentanyl, along with several distribution bags. Inside a backpack in the vehicle were two ledgers and a digital scale. The total weight of the Methamphetamine was a pound while the Fentanyl was six grams.


During transport to the Bell County Detention Center, both Wicker and Young were once again asked if they had anything illegal on them and stated they did not.


The next morning on July 14th, Officer Collins was contacted by Bell County Jailer Robin Venable about a female inmate that had suffered an overdose shortly after Shelby Young was brought into the cell. Jailer Venable spoke with Young who admitted she had Fentanyl hidden in a body cavity when she entered the facility. She also admitted to telling the female inmate about the Fentanyl and giving it to her to use, which moments later caused the overdose. Staff and inmate testimony corroborated the incident.


The following Monday July 17th, Officer Collins added charges to Shelby Young in connection with the incident.


Shelby Young was charged with trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense greater than 2 grams (Methamphetamine), importing Carfentanil, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives, 2 counts of trafficking in controlled substance -1st offense (Carfentanil or Fentanyl Derivatives) promoting contraband – 1st degree, tampering with physical evidence, and she was served a bench warrant.


James Wicker was charged with trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense greater than 2 grams (Methamphetamine), importing Carfentanil, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives, trafficking in controlled substance -1st offense (Carfentanil or Fentanyl Derivatives), driving on suspended license – 1st offense, no insurance, buying or possessing drug paraphernalia, and no registration.


Both are being held on $10,000 cash bonds.

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