2,000 pain pills uncovered in Hamblen County traffic stop

2,000 pain pills uncovered in Hamblen County traffic stop

Posted:
Jonathan Spicer (source:  Hamblen County Sheriff's Office) Jonathan Spicer (source: Hamblen County Sheriff's Office)
Harold Lamont Williams  (source:  Hamblen County Sheriff's Office) Harold Lamont Williams (source: Hamblen County Sheriff's Office)
"You can't help but wonder why has the system failed when you arrest somebody with a large amount of pills and they have four or five prescriptions also," Sheriff Jarnigan stated. "You can't help but wonder why has the system failed when you arrest somebody with a large amount of pills and they have four or five prescriptions also," Sheriff Jarnigan stated.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Two Pennsylvania men are in custody after deputies find nearly 2,000 prescription painkillers during a traffic stop.

It happened Friday night in Hamblen County on U.S. Highway 25E near Interstate 40.

Harold Lamont Williams and Jonathan Spicer face felony drug charges including possession of narcotics and intent to distribute.

The Hamblen County Sheriff's Office estimates the street value of the pills at $65,000.

Deputies found 1,643 30-mg Roxycodone pills and 356 Xanax pills.

Sheriff Esco Jarnigan says these arrests are part of a larger investigation, and that by catching the men before they were able to sell, his deputies saved lives.

"We don't see a lot of meth anymore but we do see a lot of pain pills. A lot of people are dying from pain pills," Sheriff Jarnigan explained.

Sheriff Jarnigan says there have been 247 drug overdoses in his county in the past five years.

"They get sick, or they have to go into jail, they get busted, they go to jail, and when they get out, if they were taking six a day when they get in, they take six a day when they get out three months later, their heart can't take it," Sheriff Jarnigan said.

Friday's bust is part of the county's ongoing "Pills Kill" campaign.

"We're going to do the best that we can to make our county safe and send a message 'we don't want your pain pills killing our citizens,'" Sheriff Jarnigan added.

In Friday night's bust, Williams and Spicer didn't just have pills with them; there were also prescriptions for more.

Sheriff Jarnigan says the situation isn't unique.

"You can't help but wonder why has the system failed when you arrest somebody with a large amount of pills and they have four or five prescriptions also," Sheriff Jarnigan stated.

With this most recent bust, Sheriff Jarnigan believes lives could be saved.

"We probably prevented somebody in Hamblen County or an adjacent county from an overdose from these pain pills."

Williams and Spicer are both being held on $200,000 bond.

The sheriff's office says they have extensive criminal backgrounds.

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