County woman faces multiple drug charges

Published 4:22 pm Monday, November 6, 2017

A Carter County woman faces multiple charges after local law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at her home on Sunday following a year-long investigation.

Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabethton Police Department arrested Donie Joline Hernandez, 41, of 106 Carl Smith Road, Apt. 3, Hampton, and charged her with four counts of the sale of Schedule II drugs (methamphetamine), two counts of maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are sold, two counts of possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of a legend drug without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and neglect or endangerment.

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According to court records, on Sunday officers of the CCSO and EPD executed a search warrant at Hernandez’s apartment following an investigation which included officers “making numerous controlled purchases of crystal methamphetamine” from Hernandez. The investigation was a joint operation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabethton Police Department. Records show the investigation stretches back to November 2016 when investigators report using a confidential informant to purchase crystal meth from Hernandez at a home on Coal Chute Road where Hernandez lived at that time. During the course of the investigation, Hernandez moved from the residence on Coal Chute Road to the apartment on Carl Smith Road, according to Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.

The most recent incident where officers report using a confidential informant to purchase drugs from Hernandez occurred on Oct. 31 according to court documents. According to court documents, when officers served the search warrant on Sunday, Hernandez spoke to officers and admitted to selling meth.

During the execution of the search warrant at Hernandez’s apartment on Sunday, officers reported finding the woman’s two young children in the home with what they described as drug paraphernalia that “posed an extreme hazard” to the children’s safety.

“Upon making entry into the apartment, officers discovered Hernandez’s two small children, ages 3 and 4, to be residing there as well,” CCSO Deputy Chief Investigator Mike Little said. “Numerous items which posed an extreme hazard to the children’s wellbeing and safety were discovered including loaded syringes and tactical styles knives. “These items were within easy access to the children.”

Little also notes the apartment was “found to be in very unclean and unsanitary condition,” and said officers contacted the Department of Children’s Services. According to Little, DCS responded to the scene and removed the children from the home.

In addition to the items which Little said posed a threat to the safety of the children, he reports officers found prescription medication inside the apartment along with items associated with the sale of narcotics such as digital scales and packaging materials. He said officers also found numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

Hernandez is currently being held in the Carter County Detention Center under a $37,500 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on November 8.

According to Lunceford, Hernandez has “numerous prior drug related charges and convictions.”