PIKEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) announced Monday the arrests of four East Tennesseans after a months-long investigation.

Three of the four arrested are residents of Northeast Tennessee.

The following were arrested for conspiring to sneak drugs into the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, according to a release:

  • Betty Joe Poe, Bristol, Tennessee — introduction of contraband into a penal facility, conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal facility
  • Rocky Renfroe, Kingsport — introduction of contraband into a penal facility, conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal facility
  • Amber Lawson, Greeneville — introduction of contraband into a penal facility, conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal facility, manufacture, possession of schedule III drugs
  • Luke Tippy, Crossville — theft up to $1,000, official misconduct

The release states that Tippy is a former correctional officer. The investigation dates back as far as 2020 for some of the arrests.

“This operation is a perfect example of our Department’s efforts to enhance public safety in Tennessee,” said interim commissioner Lisa Helton. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute anyone who threatens the safety and security of our prisons.”

Special agents continue to investigate these cases.