Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigators on Tuesday scored a massive multi-drug bust that resulted in the arrest of a man and woman in a case that appears to be a no-brainer for federal prosecution, authorities say.
Until federal prosecutors decide whether or not to accept the case, Trinidad Balderas Jr., 34, and Tawauna Sheron Boutwell, 36, both of whom are convicted felons, will remain in the Hamblen County Jail without bond.
When narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at their White Oak Church Road in South Hamblen County, they allegedly found 1.4 pounds of crystal meth, 3.2 ounces of heroin, 28 Ecstasy pills, 1.1 ounces of cocaine, 2 ounces of marijuana and $23,906 in suspected drug –sales proceeds, according to Lt. Gene Watson, the lead HCSD narcotics investigator.
“We will continue to make a difference in Hamblen County,” Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said this morning. “We will not give up this fight on drug abuse in our county. Together we will continue to make a difference,”
Three of the nine firearms confiscated on Monday – a Taurus .40-caliber handgun, a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber handgun and a Kel Tec 9mm handgun – had been reported stolen, according to Watson.
But the day wasn’t over, not by a long shot.
While searching the home, deputies found a large UPS box that contained empty vacuum-sealed bags that smelled of marijuana and contained marijuana residue.
The shipping label indicted the parcel was sent from Perris, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, to Newark, Ohio, 40 miles east of Columbus, according to an arrest warrant.
Authorities checked with the Morristown UPS office and learned that a package was to be delivered to Balderas and Boutwell’s home, and were waiting when the package arrived.
The parcel allegedly contained 30 1-pound, vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, according to Watson.
Balderas was convicted of aggravated assault in Florida in 1999. In 2013, Boutwell was convicted of sale and delivery of an unspecified Schedule II drug, according to a warrant.
They are charged with possession of Schedule I, II and IV drugs for resale, being convicted felons in possession of firearms, possession of stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia. Deputies confiscated two drug ledgers and two sets of digital scales