Williamsburg Police recovered suspected methamphetamine and heroin and arrested three Tennessee residents early Sunday morning following a routine traffic stop.
Williamsburg police charged William R. White Jr., 38, of Knoxville, Robin Maldonado, 39, of Sevierville, and Michael Branum, 28, of Knoxville, with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance-more than two grams of meth, and trafficking in a controlled substance-heroin.
White was also charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, operating on a suspended license and failure to signal.
The incident happened about 12:06 a.m. when Williamsburg police responded to Grumpy’s BP to locate a black Dodge Charger that reportedly had two subjects passed out inside of it, according to a Williamsburg Police Department release.
As officers were arriving, the vehicle was leaving the parking lot, and was stopped on the Exit 11 northbound on-ramp after the driver allegedly failed to signal while turning, the release stated.
White was driving the vehicle, Branum was a backseat passenger, and Maldonado was a front seat passenger.
Police observed contraband in plain view inside the vehicle, and police determined that White did not have a valid driver’s license and was allegedly under the influence, the release stated.
When officers searched the vehicle, they located about 24 grams of suspected methamphetamine and about two grams of suspected heroin that was hidden inside the vehicle under a seat. In addition, police seized over $3,000 cash, which was located on two of the suspects, the release stated.
Police also seized the 2010 Dodge Charger and impounded it.
According to an arrest citation, the suspected methamphetamine was found hidden in a clear plastic baggy that was under the front seat. The suspected heroin was found inside a clear blue plastic baggy that was inside the larger baggy containing the suspected methamphetamine.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird estimated that the street value of the methamphetamine is about $1,500 – $2,000, but that he isn’t sure what the street value of the heroin would be.
“The Williamsburg Police Department is starting to see heroin quite often at our motels and on the bypass. It is mostly people traveling through. We are not seeing heroin here locally at least not in the city. I am sure it is here though,” Bird said.
All three suspects pleaded not guilty during their arraignment Monday in Whitley District Court.
The public advocate’s office was appointed to represent the three suspects, and a June 16 preliminary hearing has been scheduled in their case.
The trio is lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center where they are each being held in lieu of $25,000 cash bonds, according to the Whitley Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Williamsburg Police Officer Dorman Patrick Jr. is continuing the investigation, and was assisted by Williamsburg Police Lt. Brandon White and Officer Jason Williams.