Mount Carmel police allegedly seize 9 ounces of meth during traffic stop

Jeff Bobo • Jun 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — An early morning traffic stop on Monday for an unlit license plate resulted in Mount Carmel police seizing more than nine ounces of meth, with a street value of more than $26,000, from a North Carolina man.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Monday, MCPD Officer Hunter Jones reportedly observed a red Ford Mustang eastbound on Carters Valley Road without an illuminated license plate.

Jones stated in his report that when he checked the tag number it came back registered to a Honda Ridgeline, at which time Jones conducted a traffic stop.

The driver, who was identified as Jarred Donald Whitson, 35, of Weaverville, North Carolina, reportedly admitted that his drivers license is suspended, he had no insurance and the vehicle has an open title.

A straw allegedly used for snorting drugs was found in his pocket, and inside the vehicle was a green bag containing digital scales and several Ziploc baggies.

Two straws and a glass pipe were located in the center console, and under the center console Jones allegedly located two large Ziploc baggies containing a white powder substance, believed to be meth, weighing approximately 9.36 ounces.

Meth generally sells on the street for $100 per gram, or about $2,800 per ounce.

Another three pills believed to be Alprazolam were located in a black bag inside the vehicle, Jones stated in his report.

Although large quantities of meth have been imported to the region from Mexico in recent years, MCPD Chief Ken Lunsford Jr. told the Times News on Monday that many dealers distributing that Mexican “Ice” in the area have been convicted recently and are serving long prison terms — many in federal prison.

Lunsford said that has created a demand for “homemade” meth again — and he believes that is the origin of the large quantity seized from Whitson.

“It's not Ice from a super lab,” Lunsford said. “We are starting to see that since the sheriff's office and DTF (regional Drug Task Force) put all the big sellers in jail, people can’t find meth now and are making it themselves again.”

Whitson was charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, driving while in possession of meth, possession of Schedule IV narcotics with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and multiple traffic charges.

Whitson was arraigned on Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court, and his preliminary hearing was set for July 8.

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