Pharmacy’s shoplifting call leads to 2 drug arrests

Published 9:15 am Monday, January 5, 2015

Police responding to an early-morning report of a shoplifter at a local pharmacy made two arrests on meth-related charges.
Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department arrested Jessica Williams, 25, of 137 Bart Green Drive, Johnson City, and Gary Murphy, 30, 163 Rosenbaum Private Drive.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, officers of the police department responded to Walgreen’s pharmacy on Broad Street after store employees called 911 to report a female in the store allegedly shoplifting.
“Officers were advised that a female subject, later identified as Jessica L. Williams, was attempted to shoplift Walgreens brand cold packs and that upon being confronted she left the business and was sitting in a maroon colored Chevrolet S10 that was still in the parking lot,” EPD Cpl. Sarah Ellison said.
When officers approached the truck, they saw Williams move from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat as she removed the vehicle’s keys from her pocket and tried to hide them, Ellison said. A check of Williams’ driver’s license revealed it was suspended, she said.
When officers searched Williams, they found a piece of cellophane containing the controlled substance Suboxone, Ellison said. Williams also granted officers permission to search the vehicle, resulting in the officers finding a spoon with orange residue, a marijuana smoking pipe with burnt marijuana residue and an open container of beer in the center console, Ellison said. Officers also found two packs of Walgreen’s brand cold medication “stuffed between the seats” of the truck.
Store employees told officers a man, later identified as Gary Murphy, had accompanied Williams into the store and was still inside.
“Murphy was obviously intoxicated,” Ellison said, adding that his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, his speech was slurred and his breath smelled of alcohol.
When officers searched Murphy, they found several lithium batteries, a cigarette pack that contained a dismantled cigarette filter and four Suboxone tablets.
Murphy told officers he was a passenger in the truck and that Williams had been the driver.
Williams was charged with possession of Schedule III drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, violation of the open container law and promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. At press time, she was being held in the Carter County Detention Center on a $14,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Feb. 2.
Murphy was charged with public intoxication, possession of Schedule III drugs and promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. He was booked into the Carter County Detention Center, where he was later released. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Feb. 2.

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