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Drug distribution conspiracy charged at Sullivan County Jail

J. H. Osborne • Jun 1, 2020 at 7:50 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Thirteen people, including four inmates, are charged in connection to contraband being brought into the Sullivan County Jail, according to a press release issued Monday by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

“Contraband is a reality for jail and prisons across the country,” Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said in the release. “It’s no different here in Sullivan County. All too often, corrections officers deal with those trying to bring drugs into the jail. Not only is that illegal, but it also creates an even more dangerous environment for both inmates and officers. Imagine a conspiracy to supply meth, marijuana and other narcotics to inmates. That’s exactly what the players in this investigation were attempting to do.”

Background

According to the press release:

• Corrections officer Samantha Cash received an anonymous call in booking stating that someone would be coming into the jail with concealed narcotics.

• Inmate Charles Edward Johnson arrived at the jail and began stating that he needed to be put in Johnny Royston's cell.

• Cash connected the possibility that he may be the one concealing narcotics and was able to recover two packages containing tobacco from Johnson.

• Corrections officers Thomas Buxton and Derek Crumbley came in on the oncoming shift and recovered four additional packages from Johnson containing 36.85 grams of methamphetamine (Schedule II), 3.32 grams of marijuana (Schedule VI), three Buprenorphine strips (Schedule III), six Buprenorphine tablets (Schedule III) and four Clonazepam tablets (Schedule IV).

• Exact weight and identification of listed narcotics were examined and confirmed through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s lab by TBI Agent Hannah Peterson.

• SCSO Vice Sgt. Burk Murray received the case and assigned it to Detective Tyler Gray. The investigation included interviews with suspects and review of jail phone calls, email and jail videos.

Charges

• Johnny Frank Royston Jr., Joseph Michael Sayers, Jackson Stevens Mabe, Jeremy James White and Charles Edward Johnson are each charged with: criminal conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution;  criminal conspiracy to possess 26 grams or more of meth for sale or delivery; possession of 26 grams or more of meth for sale or delivery; possession of Buprenorphine for sale or delivery; possession of Clonazepam for sale or delivery; possession of marijuana; and introduction of contraband into a penal institution.

• Royston, Sayers, Mabe and White were already in jail on other charges. Johnson was listed Monday morning as “still wanted” for the charges related to this case.

• Reva Suzanne Owens (Mabe’s wife), Jessica Nicole Kent, Falesha Faye Dailey, Valissa Renee Gilmartin (Sayers’ mother),  Desiera Hess, and Joshua Aaron Robinette are each charged with criminal conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution.

• Kristy Michelle Meade and Tiffany Archer-Roe are each charged with criminal conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution and false report.

Deputy Assistant District Attorney Gene Perrin and Murray played important roles in assisting with investigations.

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