A traffic stop initiated Wednesday at the direction of two Morristown Police Department narcotics detectives resulted in the arrest of two Hamblen County men on felony crystal-meth, cocaine and marijuana charges, but a man caught up in the wash with two others could face the most serious charges, authorities say.
Keith Charles Moore, a 29-year-old convicted felon, allegedly was carrying a loaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and four-tenths of a gram of crystal meth when he leaped from a Dogwood Street residence and tried to escape officers who had arrived with a search warrant, according to Detective Chris Blair.
In 2014, Moore was sentenced to four years in state prison after he was convicted of selling and unspecified Schedule I drug, according to court records. Blair says he will be talking to the U.S. attorney’s office about the possibility of transferring Moore’s case to U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
“It sounds like he’s a very good candidate for it,” Blair said this morning. “Any time that we have a convicted felon and drugs and a firearm, that is ideally the type of case the U.S. attorney’s office will prosecute, in my experience.”
Taken into custody at the same time as Moore were the two primary residents of the Dogwood Street residence, James Travis Sumner, 32, and Donna Janette Rhea, 35.
Sumner is charged with possession of four-tenths of a gram of crystal meth and possession of Ecstasy, a Schedule I drug, according to Detective Pete Shockley. Rhea is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia – hypodermic needles, small plastic bags and a powder tainted spoon, according to Detective Jason Young. Both are charged with maintaining a drug dwelling.
Sumner and Moore allegedly get “drugs delivered to (them) daily and allow “several people daily to come to this residence and use drugs,” the arrest warrants state. Moore allegedly is one of the frequent visitors.
The series of events that led to the three arrests started earlier in the day when William Derrick Null, 37, and Thomas Koontz, 29, both of White Oak Grove Road, were taken into custody by Detective Cpl. Jack Everhart and Detective Pete Shockley.
Null and Koontz allegedly were holding more than 20 grams of crystal meth, a half-gram of cocaine and a felony amount of marijuana. The detectives reported they believe Null and Koontz were partners in the drug trade. Koontz was holding the drugs. Null was the designated wheels man, according to arrest warrants.
Blair says information gleaned during the traffic stop formed part of the basis for the search warrant.
The narcotics detectives instructed officer Rob Jacobs to stop Koontz’s vehicle because he knew the defendant didn’t have a valid driver’s license, according to a warrant.