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Two arrested for drug trafficking in Middlesboro leads to overdose for an inmate in jail - 5 more charged

From WRIL - The Big One -


On Monday March 25th, Middlesboro Sgt. Ryan Collins made a traffic stop on a vehicle whose occupants were involved in a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking from Knoxville back to Middlesboro regularly. 


At approximately 11:30pm, Sgt. Collins made the stop on the vehicle, occupied by driver 35-year-old Daniel Hall of New Tazewell and passenger 30-year-old Heather York of Middlesboro, at Circle K on Cumberland Avenue.


The officer states that both Hall and York were acting nervous and in the floorboard was scene a yellow pop can with holes poked in it and burn marks.  During the stop both Hall and York were asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and they only admitted to the can.


During a search of Hall, Sgt. Collins assisted by Officer Preston Saylor, found a clear container holding suspected crack cocaine in his possession.  A search of the vehicle revealed several drug paraphernalia items, which included a pipe, metal coils for smoking, and digital scales. When asked if she had anything on her, York stated she had approximately a half-gram of suspected Heroin/Fentanyl inside a body cavity. 


Both Hall and York were transported to Middlesboro Police headquarters for processing where York retrieved the substance turning it over to officers. They were then lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.


Daniel Hall was charged with possession of controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense (Cocaine), importing Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives, trafficking in controlled substance – 1st offense (Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives), buying/possessing drug paraphernalia, improper display of registration plates, failure to register transfer of motor vehicle, and improper equipment.


Heather York was charged with importing Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives, trafficking in controlled substance – 1st offense (Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives), and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia.


On March Thursday the 28th Bell County Jailer Robin Venable contacted Sgt. Collins stating that an overdose took place at the facility on the 27th centered around Heather York. During the incident, jail staff responded to yelling inmates asking for medical help due to inmate Lora Messer exhibiting overdose behavior after coming in contact with Heroin and/or Fentanyl.  After Narcan was administered, Messer was taken to Pineville Community Health Care for further treatment.


Jailer Venable stated that he spoke with the inmates in the cell and Heather York admitted to providing the substance to Messer and five other inmates.  York went on to stated that she had more drugs hidden in her body cavity than what she turned over to police. She claimed she didn’t want to get sick and used the drugs herself, but the next day was confronted by other inmates to have her share with them which she did.  After using, Messer then began overdosing. 


Heather York was additionally charged by Sgt. Collins with five counts of trafficking in controlled substance – 1st offense (Carfentanyl, Fentanyl, or Fentanyl Derivatives), promoting contraband – 1st degree, tempering with physical evidence possession of controlled substance – 1st degree (Fentanyl), five counts of wanton endangerment – 1st degree, and violation of conditions of release.


The five other inmates, April Brock, Evelyn Jones, Beth Wooten, Genesia York, and Lora Messer were all charged with possession of controlled substance Fentanyl (conspiracy) and promoting contraband -1st degree (conspiracy).

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