Muti-state Drug Ring Busted in Bledsoe County
It is no secret, the drug problem in small communities has been growing every year. As gang members are facing stiffer resistance in big cities, they have started moving into small communities with less resources to combat this type of crime. However, with vigilant efforts and local informants, a large dent in the problem just occurred in Bledsoe County. According to the incident report filed by officer George Hodge of Bledsoe County Sherriff Department, three out of state suspects were apprehended, all from New Jersey. Marcus Lee Blackwell, Newark, NJ; Malcolm L. Harvey, and Shawn Schenck, Jackson NJ were all arrested and charged with various drug related charges. Possible Federal charges may also be applied.
Recovered in the drug bust was approximately 1000 assorted narcotic medications such as Xanax, hydrocodone and other assorted pain medications. Over one and a half ounces of crystal meth, three thousand dollars cash was also confiscated and seven firearms were found in the Holland Ridge Residence. Several of the firearms had been reported stolen from Alabama and North Carolina. The owners of these stolen firearms will be contacted for possible return of the weapons.
According to officer Hodge’s report, an informant advised him of illegal activity occurring in Sequatchie County with drugs being brought into Bledsoe County. The three men reportedly were having drugs shipped via United States Postal Service to Chattanooga addresses where they picked up the drugs and then brought them back to Sequatchie County for repackaging and distribution. The Sequatchie Sherriff’s department was informed of the trafficking and the cooperative investigation started.
Within a few days after the investigation started, the same informant reported the operation had been moved into Bledsoe County at the Holland Ridge Road residence, just outside the Pikeville city limits. The suspects had used a jumper wire to power up the house without using an electric meter, started using the home as a distribution point on January 4, 2014. As the homeowner was unaware of the activity taking place at the residence, they gave Bledsoe County Sherriff Department officers permission to enter the residence.
On January, 9 surveillance of the home confirmed the suspects were inside. Sherriff Jimmy Morris, Lt Holloway, Sgt. Brewer, and officer Hodge went the residence and announced their presence to the occupants of the house. No resistance was met by the officer who quickly found the three suspects trying to flush substances down the commode in the bathroom at the rear of the house. The three suspects were arrested and their first court appearance was held yesterday. The suspects bonds were set at $20,000 for both Harvey and Schenck and $25,000 for Blackwell. Later investigation revealed each man has ties with street gangs and Blackwell is wanted for felonies in New Jersey