However, it wasn’t just a lucky break for law enforcement.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted with the bust, told the Times News Tuesday that the arrests were part of an ongoing investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Vice Squad and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The suspects allegedly admitted they were returning home at the time of their arrest after purchasing the heroin from a source in Ohio.
On Dec. 10 around 2:34 a.m., Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Ryan Fletcher conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling east on Highway 11-W through Hawkins County with a license plate light that flickered off and on and wasn’t properly illuminating the license plate.
Among the occupants of the vehicle were driver Zachary James Mahoney, 30, 1301 Midland Drive; Bradley Wayne Carty, 54, 936 Charlemont Apt. 4; and Bradley Dillon Carty Jr., 29, 2017 Falling Leaf Drive.
Fletcher stated in his report that Mahoney was found to have a suspended driver’s license, and he consented to a search of the vehicle.
An SCSO K-9 reportedly alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search allegedly revealed that two of the passengers had a total of 8.2 ounces of heroin in their possession, Fletcher stated in his report.
A small amount of powder and a partial yellow pill were also allegedly in a purse in a passenger seat.
“Approximately 4.1 ounces of white powder substance believed to be heroin was recovered concealed between (Bradley Wayne Carty’s) legs,” Fletcher stated in his report. “During questioning, it was revealed that the occupants had traveled to Ohio to purchase 8.2 ounces of heroin.”
All three were charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver. Mahoney was also charged with driving on a suspended license and a registration violation.
Bradley Wayne Carty was additionally charged with tampering with evidence.
Bradley Dillon Carty also had active arrest warrants in Sullivan County.
All three had their bond set at $30,000 and a preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 8 in Hawkins County Sessions Court.
According to HCSO sources, purchasing heroin at the street level in Hawkins County is currently very expensive: $100 for 1/10th of a gram, due to a lack of supply.