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Trap door hiding space leads police to find a parolee violator under a home in Middlesboro

, trom WRIL -

Benjamin “Peanut” Collins. - BCDC

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, Middlesboro Police were contacted by the Probation and Parole office in reference to a parolee that had absconded supervision for some time, his location, and possible drug activity.

Officers went to the residence on Ray Hatfield Lane in hope of locating 36-year-old Benjamin “Peanut” Collins.

Once on scene, officers saw a vehicle in the driveway, but no activity. Officer Ryan Collins then made his way to the back of the house while parole officer Christy Gibson and Middlesboro Officer Chris Barnes stayed in the front.

Collins states that, in plain view of an open window, he saw a small clear bag containing a crystal-like substance believed to be Methamphetamine sitting on a night stand near a bed.

Gibson knocked on the door and there was no movement, nor anyone seen in the home so Officer Collins obtained a search warrant for the home and return later that day.

Upon their return the officers knocked, announced themselves, no one answered, and after finding the door unlocked they entered the residence.

The bag of Methamphetamine was found in the back bedroom and also discovered was a bag of syringes, multiple distribution bags, and a small bag of Marijuana.

During the incident, Officer Collins discovered a trap door in the bathroom leading under the house. He opened the door to find a body laying on the ground who turned out to be Benjamin Collins. The man would not respond to the officer so EMS was contacted for possible medical attention. After a short period of time, Collins woke up and came out of the floor without incident telling the officers he was actually awake the entire time. Collins went on to say that he went under the house to hide during the officers’ first visit to the home earlier in the day and he simply passed out.

Benjamin Collins was then taken into custody and found where he had been laying was a large bag of suspected Methamphetamine.

Once transported to the Bell County Detention Center, Benjamin Collins admitted to Officer Collins that he had more illegal drugs in the home which included approximately 32 grams of suspected Methamphetamine and Suboxone. Officer Collins returned to the residence and collected the items.

Benjamin “Peanut” Collins was served the parole violation and two outstanding warrants. He was charged with trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 2nd offense (greater than 2 grams – Methamphetamine), possession of Marijuana, buying/possessing drug paraphernalia, and possession of controlled substance – 2nd degree – drug unspecified.

He is being held without bond.

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