While attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a Williamsburg woman early Thursday morning, Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies discovered suspected crystal methamphetamine, which is also known as “ice,” in addition to marijuana and cash, and arrested three people, according to a sheriff’s department release.
About midnight Thursday, Deputy Brian Hensley and Lt. Dennis Foley went to a Taylor Circle residence, which is just outside Williamsburg, in an attempt to locate Ashley L. Lay, 34.
Lay had one active arrest warrant from Laurel County, and three from Whitley County, including one warrant for failure to appear for a jury trial, which made her a fugitive, according to the release.
When Hensley got to the front door, he could see Lay through the window and observed her carrying a plastic tote toward the bedroom, according to an arrest citation.
When Lay opened the front door, Hensley said he was from the sheriff’s department and Lay allegedly slammed the front door and ran, Hensley wrote on one of her arrest citations.
Hensley then forced his way into the residence, and discovered a man and woman in the kitchen, and secured both people.
Foley forced entry through a second door and located Thomas Schenck, 34, in a bathroom.
Foley watched Schenck and the two people in the kitchen, while Hensley proceeded to the bedroom to look for Lay and found her in the closet, according to the release and an arrest citation.
Hensley got Lay out of the closet, but she kept jerking her arms away, according to her second arrest citation.
Deputies then performed a safety search of the residence, and discovered in plain view a baggie of marijuana inside the plastic container that Lay had been seen carrying, Hensley wrote.
Also found in the container were three baggies of suspected meth weighing about four grams total, two baggies of pills, several needles, scales, over 100 baggies consistent with drug trafficking, $469 cash and a credit card, according to the release and an arrest citation.
Lay allegedly admitted to police to knowing about the marijuana and credit card, but she denied knowing about the other items, according to an arrest citation.
Deputies served Lay with the four outstanding arrest warrants, in addition to charging her with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, second-degree fleeing or evading police, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.
The man in the kitchen, Thomas J. Croley, 34, of Williamsburg, was determined to be a fugitive, who was wanted for arrest by Texas authorities, according to the release.
Croley is wanted in Jefferson County, Texas, on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to court documents.
On Dec. 6, 2017, Beaumont Police Department Sgt. M. Bean observed a 2006 Toyota Corolla and learned that it was reported as being stolen from London, Kentucky, on Oct. 5, 2017, according a court document.
The driver, Thomas Croley, was removed from the vehicle and charged with unauthorized use of a mother vehicle, according to a court document.
The woman found in the kitchen Thursday was identified and found to have no known warrants for her arrest, according to the sheriff’s department release.
Deputies charged Schenck with second-degree fleeing or evading police and hindering apprehension.
Schenck allegedly ran through the residence in the same direction as Lay, would not comply with deputies verbal commands, and would not tell police where Lay was hiding, according to his arrest citation.
Lay, Croley and Schenck were all lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Schenck was released on his own recognizance early Thursday afternoon.
Croley pleaded not guilty to a charge of being a fugitive during his arraignment Thursday in Whitley District Court.
A May 7 preliminary hearing is scheduled in his case.
Lay also pleaded not guilty to her charges during her arraignment Thursday.
White agreed to lower her bond to $25,000 cash during a hearing Monday in Whitley District Court, and scheduled a May 7 preliminary hearing in her case.
Deputy Jonas Saunders also assisted with the investigation.
Hensley is continuing the investigation.