Minutes after securing a suspected drug dealer in custody, Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith and his deputies discovered more than two pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside the suspect vehicle Monday morning.
“It is the most I have seen,” Smith said of the methamphetamine law enforcement discovered inside of a backpack found in the back seat.
Smith and his deputies arrested Marlon Johnson, 35, of Nashville, Tennessee after chasing him through east Corbin.
Deputy William Stewart, the department’s public affairs officer, said Sam Mullins had developed information that an individual, later identified as Johnson, was in possession of a large amount of crystal methamphetamine.
The man was reportedly from out of state and driving a rental car.
Smith said deputies were attempting to locate the vehicle when they observed a suspicious vehicle with a Tennessee license plate at the Arby’s drive thru off of Commonwealth Ave.
Smith and his deputies followed the red Toyota Corolla as it turned onto Master Street, onto Engineer Street and then Ky. 1629.
When officers activated their lights and sirens, the driver, later identified as Johnson, reportedly attempted to elude them.
The pursuit continued along 1629 taking a sudden right turn into a driveway near Park Hills Road.
A woman living at the home came outside to find her car had been sideswiped by the Corolla, after which it narrowly avoided plowing through the back fence.
Stewart said Johnson fled the scene on foot, jumping several fences as he attempted to elude officers by hiding in the Pine Hill/Resthaven Cemetery.
In addition to the drugs, officers recovered a loaded handgun inside a backpack found in the vehicle.
Johnson faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance – methamphetamine, first-degree fleeing or evading police – motor vehicle, second-degree fleeing or evading police – on foot, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, and convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
Deputies contacted agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who Smith said would be seeking federal charges against Johnson.
Deputies Carl Bolton, William Stewart, and Sam Mullins and Corbin Police assisted Smith at the scene.
“As far as we know this is a record meth bust in Knox County,” Stewart said.