EPD makes two arrests after string of car burglaries

Published 9:57 am Friday, March 27, 2015

Theft charges graphic

A pair of Elizabethton men face multiple felony charges in connection with a string of car burglaries as well as charges related to the production of methamphetamine.

Police investigators arrested Johsua Milsaps, 21, of 828 Hickory St. and Joshua Russell, 31, of 608 Locust St., No. 11, Tuesday night. Officers charged Milsaps with 11 counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and Russell with 10 counts of burglary of a motor vehicle. Each was also charged with one count of promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine.

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On Monday, Elizabethton Police Department Detective Joe Harrah began an investigation into a series of car burglaries reported to the department over the weekend, many of which occurred within the same neighborhood.

During the investigation, Harrah received a tip that led him and other officers to suspect Milsaps and Russell were involved in the burglaries. That tip led officers to a hotel room in Johnson City where they found the two men.

“Investigators found various items in their possession which were determined to have been taken from some of the reported auto burglaries in Elizabethton,” EPD Capt. Joy Shoun said. “Officers also recovered other items believed to have been stolen out of other jurisdictions.”

Milsaps and Russell admitted to the burglaries during interviews with officers, Harrah said in warrants for the two men’s arrest.

Police were also able to connect Milsaps with a car burglary from January where a laptop computer was stolen from a vehicle parked in the 300 block of Pine Hill Road. Milsaps admitted he had stolen the laptop and had later sold it, Harrah said.

While interviewing Milsaps and Russell, officers learned the two men were possibly involved in manufacturing methamphetamine, Shoun said.

“Prior to the vehicle burglaries investigation, I had received information Russell was involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine,” an EPD undercover officer said in the warrant charging the two men with the meth related offense. “The complaint I received stated he was residing at an apartment located at 708 Eisenhour St.”

Officers went to the apartment building on Eisenhour Street, where they located a variety of items used to cook meth.

“During the interviews Milsaps and Russell admitted to going to Super Walmart and Lowe’s and acquiring items used to manufacture methamphetamine,” the undercover officer said. “Russell stated Milsaps stole the items. Russell stated he was showing Milsaps the ingredients needed in order to obtain pills for his girlfriend. Milsaps stated Russell stole the items. They each described the location I could locate the items.”

Officers arrested Milsaps and Russell and transported them to the Carter County Detention Center where both men are currently being held on bonds of $50,000 each.

Both men are scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on April 15.