Shoplifting calls result in drug charges against two men

Published 9:21 am Friday, September 5, 2014

Two men were arrested on drug charges after two shoplifting reports drew the attention of police officers on Saturday afternoon.
The first incident occurred at 12:44 p.m. Saturday when Elizabethton Police Department Officer James Sexton responded to Wal-Mart on a shoplifting call.
Dispatchers told Sexton the suspect had left the store and was running through the parking lot toward the Murphy USA Oil gas station.
Sexton wrote when he arrived at the scene he observed EPD Officer Jordan Ensor chasing a man on foot in the parking lot of Fatz Café. The man then turned back toward Wal-Mart. Sexton joined in the chase and assisted Ensor with apprehending the man after a “brief chase and struggle.”
The man, identified as Stacy Leonard, 46, 477 Waddell St., Mountain City, was accused by Wal-Mart loss prevention personnel of leaving the store with $462.80 in unpaid merchandise.
Sexton said that after bringing Leonard into custody, officers searched him and found a Lortab in a gold round container with a bag of white powder later tested to be methamphetamine.
Leonard was arrested and charged with shoplifting, evading arrest, resisting arrest, possession of Schedule II drugs, simple possession of Schedule III drugs and criminal trespassing. He was also charged with a warrant charging him with theft under $500 and failure to appear.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 20.
The second incident occurred at 1:52 p.m. Saturday when EPD Officer John Bulla was called to Wal-Mart, also on a report of suspected shoplifting. The suspect had already left the store, but the complainant provided a vehicle description, tag number and direction of travel.
Bulla found the vehicle traveling on Frontier Avenue and observed the driver fail to stop at a posted stop sign.
EPD Cpl. Doug Combs and Sgt. Patrick White stopped the vehicle on West Elk Avenue and identified the driver as Michael Whisenhunt, 39, 848 Blue Springs Road, Elizabethton.
Officers observed a 32-ounce bottle of Coleman fuel and Aqua tubing on the passenger seat.
“I have knowledge the items the subject purchased and had been observed looking at are common with the manufacture of methamphetamine,” Bulla wrote.
Whisenhunt was asked to exit the vehicle and gave consent for a search. Officers found a receipt for the fuel and tubing. Another piece of tubing was found in the glove box and a box of ice compress was found in the rear of the vehicle.
According to the report, Whisenhunt was advised of his rights and he “admitted the items were purchased for the manufacture of methamphetamine.”
Whisenhunt was placed under arrest and charged with promotion of methamphetamine and stop sign violation.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 20.

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