Morristown resident Justin Dalton, a 34-year-old man who was arrested Wednesday on felony heroin, Suboxone and alprazolam charges, along with an unrelated burglary, is the latest inmate who apparently got a huge bail-bond reduction as a result of officials’ efforts to reduce defendants’ exposure to the coronavirus.
In a bag “stuffed inside” himself, Dalton allegedly was holding 4 grams of heroin, in addition to 15-and-a-half Suboxone strips and 17 gabapentin pills for which he had no prescription, according to officer Glenn Tucker, who captured Dalton in the woods near Sykes Enterprises, a call center on West Andrew Johnson Highway.
Dalton’s combined bond was $12,000, but by late this morning he’d been unable to come up with the $1,237 dollars he needs for release, jail records indicate.
In the time before coronavirus, the felony drug charges – particularly the one involving heroin – would have resulted in a bond of $50,000 or more. The burglary and theft charges normally would have been $10,000, a bail bondsman said this morning.
The burglary and theft over $2,500 charges stem from a March 24 break-in of an outbuilding belonging to a man named Ricky Trent, according to Detective Sgt. George Sauceman with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department.
A surveillance video shows Dalton allegedly stealing the items, which are valued at $4,700 and include two chain saws, two saws and a cordless drill, according to a warrant. The defendant off-loaded one chain saw, which has been recovered, according to Sauceman.