Blount County Sheriff: Meth seized, arrests made at residence following monthslong investigation

Crime and Courts

Brandon Lee Lively and Crystal Dale Hornsby

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two people are facing drug charges in Blount County following a three-month investigation at a residence, according to Sheriff James Lee Berrong.

Crystal Dale Hornsby and Brandon Lee Lively, both 38, a third person who was later cited were all inside a residence on Wells Road when agents from the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team served a search warrant. Drug Task Force agents seized approximately 3.4 grams of crystal methamphetamine as well as drug paraphernalia.

Hornsby was charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance for resale. She has been booked into the Blount County Correctional Facility on $25,000 bond. Lively was taken into custody on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license. He was being held on $2,250 bond. The two are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. June 16 in Blount County General Sessions Court.

A 36-year-old man who resided at the same residence was cited with possession of drug paraphernalia. Additional charges are pending on a fourth person who was not present during the time of the search warrant. The investigation is ongoing.

Illicit drug sales, overdose trends ‘upsetting’

Along with the report about the arrests and seizure of alleged meth, the Blount County sheriff shared his thoughts about a “continual flow” of illicit drugs in the area, saying the community is “at a critical stage” in the issue.

“The illegal drug activity that we are experiencing in Blount County is not only upsetting, it is frightening,” Sheriff Berrong said. “Our Drug Task Force agents are continually working in an effort to keep illicit drugs out of Blount County, but as soon as they arrest one drug dealer, another one pops up.

“There is a continual flow of heroin and crystal methamphetamine that is smuggled out of Mexico and then north through the drug pipeline. It seems like for every drug dealer we arrest, another one pops up to take his or her place.”

As of May 31, Blount County has had 151 overdoses, with 31 of them resulting in the death of the overdose victim. The data places Blount County ahead of the trend from this time last year. For the year 2020, there were a total of 239 overdoses with 38 deaths, and in 2019 there were 176 overdoses resulting in 28 deaths.

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