‘Operation Freedom’ Targets 40 on Drug Charges

 

            Huntsville, TN (2013-07-15) Operation Freedom, an anti-drug campaign waged by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department in collaboration with the Oneida Police Department and the 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force, targeted 40 people over the weekend for allegedly selling narcotics.  Since last Thursday, members of the local law enforcement community led by Sheriff Cross, Chief Deputy Ronnie Phillips, Oneida Police Chief Daryl Laxton, and drug agents from both agencies have arrested 30 people in connection with the operation.  Ten remain at-large.

            According to Sheriff Mike Cross, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Oneida Police Department and 8th Judicial District Drug Task Force, began rounding up suspected drug dealers late last week.  “We want to see our community free of drugs,” commented Cross.  By Monday morning, the multijurisdictional drug eradication effort had resulted in the arrest of thirty people.

            Persons arrested included:

            Mary Foster, Billy Joe Byrge, Joann Byrge, Freeman Bowling, Donnie Bauswell, Judy Duncan, Michael Aston, and Katherine Posey—all charged with the sale of a schedule III controlled substance (Hydrocodone);

            Shane Chitwood, Justin Powell, Derek Overton, Ronnie Phillips, Troy Phillips, Erica Overton, Estel West, Alice Byrge, Sherrie Overton, Verlin Lackey, Jr., and Bridget Morrow—all charged with sale of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone);

            Ron Reagan, Toby Jones, Troy Seabolt, Bobby Connor, and Ronnie Phillips—all charged with the sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Percocet);

            Mike Davidson—sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine);

            Jesse Perry—the sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid);

            Audie Ellis—sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Roxycodone);

            Barbara Ann Silcox—sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Fentanyl); sale of a schedule IV controlled substances (Valium and Ativan); and

            Kelvin Sexton—sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and giving false information to an officer.

            Persons indicted but still on the lam include:

            James McKeehen and Jacob Cooper—casual exchange (of drugs);

            Billy Joe Lewallen—sale of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine);

            Christy Hiske—sale of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax); and,

            Joey Thompson, Michael Patton, and Ashley Gooch—sale of a schedule III controlled substance (Subutex).

            Misty Wright and Dillon Dunphy were also arrested and charged with theft of under $500 and forgery, which according to authorities, were drug related.

            As result of the roundup, additional charges were also lodged against some of those previously charged.  Mike Davidson was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine); possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.  Bridget Morrow was also booked for possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone), possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  A third person, identified as Bobby J. Byrge, who was not charged in the roundup, was arrested for cultivation of marijuana. When authorities went to his mother’s Oneida home to arrest her and his brother on drug charges, Deputy Eric Newport reportedly found a marijuana plant growing outside the house. Byrge reportedly told authorities the plant belonged to him.

            All persons arrested are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  The potential for persons with the same or similar name in the community exists.