Independence Day: ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’

Independence Day is one of America’s favorite holidays. And why not? Families and friends gather to celebrate our country with food, parades, parties, picnics, and fireworks.

For many, the celebration includes alcohol, but the holiday quickly goes from festive to fatal when people choose to drive after drinking, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. From 2009 through 2013, nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

To crack down on drunk driving this Independence Day weekend, Anderson County law enforcement will be out in full force, aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger, the press release said. Sheriff’s deputies will be out working to make our roadways safe. [Read more…]

ACSD participating in Click It or Ticket this weekend

Click It or Ticket Day and Night

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will take part in the Click It or Ticket—National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization by conducting saturation patrols during this Memorial Day holiday period, a press release said.

As part of the enforcement, a sobriety checkpoint was held Friday evening, May 22, on Tri-County Boulevard in Oliver Springs. It was to be a multi-agency effort sponsored by the Oliver Springs Police Department and the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, the press release said.

The Click It or Ticket—National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization runs through May 31. [Read more…]

Prom and graduation reminders from the Sheriff’s Department

Paul White

Paul White

By Sheriff Paul White

Proms and graduations are traditions for our young students and the community. These times celebrate achievements, reflect on the past, and take the first steps into adulthood. Unfortunately, some teenagers believe the deadly mix of alcohol and driving is also a part of this tradition. Too many are injured or killed after the prom or graduation.

Our students headed to the prom and from graduations are reminded not to drink and drive. Deputies with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force on prom nights and after graduations. Driving under the influence (DUI), illegal drugs, and underage drinking will get you a ride to jail.

The Sheriff’s Department also reminds teens that getting caught drinking while under the age of 21 can result in losing your driver’s license, getting suspended from school, ejected from sports teams, and even banned from graduation ceremonies. [Read more…]

Sheriff: Two arrested on child sexual abuse offenses

Gerald Wayne Condon

Gerald Wayne Condon

Two East Tennessee men have been arrested in separate, unrelated cases of child sexual abuse after indictments by the Anderson County Grand Jury, authorities said Wednesday.

Gerald Wayne Condon, 44, of Maryville, and Roger Dale Lindsay, 50, of Clinton, were charged after two investigations by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Unit.

Condon was indicted on 25 counts of child sexual abuse offenses on one underage victim that occurred during the last four years, Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. Condon was arrested on Tuesday, March 10, and has been released after posting $100,000 bond. [Read more…]

Sheriff: Two arrested on child pornography charges

Mario Luis Castilla

Mario Luis Castilla

Two Anderson County men have been arrested in unrelated child pornography cases, authorities said.

Mario Luis Castilla, 29, of Offutt Spur Road in Rocky Top, was indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on three counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and arrested January 8, Sheriff Paul White said.

Jeremy Keegan Cosgrove, 30, of Jersey Lane in Oak Ridge, was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and arrested January 31, White said. [Read more…]

Sheriff: 25 indicted on drug charges

Paul White

Paul White

Note: This story was updated at 11:45 a.m.

Twenty-five people were indicted on drug-related charges by an Anderson County Grand Jury in November after investigations by the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, authorities said Wednesday.

Deputies have been out making arrests on these indictments while also continuing investigations on related drug activity, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said in a Wednesday morning press release.

The drug investigations were conducted during the last few months. White said the indictments were for the manufacture, sales, delivery, or possession of illegal drugs, and those indicted either sold to undercover agents or possessed drugs for resale.

“These indictments primarily include charges resulting from sale or possession for resale of prescription or legend drugs, as well as marijuana and methamphetamine-related offenses,” White said. [Read more…]

Toys For Tots can be dropped off at AC Detention Facility through Dec. 15

Toys for Tots

The staff at the Anderson County Detention Facility has volunteered to let the facility be used as a Toys For Tots drop-off center for Christmas 2014.

Gifts for children that are new or unopened will be accepted in the drop-off box located in the Detention Facility lobby at 308 Public Safety Lane in Clinton. The box will be available to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day until Monday, December 15.

Toys For Tots is an official activity of the United States Marine Corps and a mission of the Marine Corps Reserve, a press release said. First founded in 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted Toys For Tots and expanded it into a nationwide community action project.

Now an international project, in 2012 Toys For Tots distributed almost 17 million toys to more than seven million children across the world, the release said. [Read more…]

Anderson County sheriff warns of telephone scams

Paul White

Paul White

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is putting out a warning about a telephone scam that is again circulating in Knox County. The caller pretends to be a sheriff’s deputy or court official and says that the person has an outstanding warrant, didn’t report for jury duty, or has a failure to appear, and that it can be taken care of with a certain amount of money. He then says the money can be transferred to the caller with a Greet Dot card, prepaid credit card, or to meet and bring the “cash bond.”

This same scam occurred earlier in the year in our area, including Anderson County, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said. So far, no new cases have been reported in Anderson County, but the scam appears to target residents in all of our area counties. [Read more…]

Sheriff reminds Thanksgiving travelers to buckle up

Buckle Up America Logo

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is joining in a national effort to reach out to all Thanksgiving travelers with one important message: Buckle up.

Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, putting more people on the road, and unfortunately increasing the likelihood of crashes, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said in a press release.

Each year in the United States, tens of thousands of passenger vehicle occupants die in motor vehicle crashes. In 2012, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone. It’s a sad statistic, but even sadder is that many of those deaths could have been prevented with one simple click of a seat belt, White said. [Read more…]

Woman dies after trying to save pets from house fire

Ridge Lane Firefighters

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Ridge Lane home on Wednesday. A woman who tried to save her pets from the fire died overnight. (Photo by Tom Scott)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 1:50 p.m. Nov. 23.

The 65-year-old woman who was burned and seriously injured while trying to save three pets from a house fire on Wednesday afternoon died overnight at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, authorities said.

Martha Babb Bailey and Adra Denton of Oak Ridge had arrived at Bailey’s home at 131 Ridge Lane around 3 p.m. Wednesday after grocery shopping. When they opened the front door, the house, which is in Orchard Knob subdivision in Anderson County, burst into flames. Denton called 911 to report the fire, and Bailey ran into the burning home to try to rescue two dogs and a cat, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said.

But Bailey’s clothes caught fire, and she collapsed in the living room, White said. Denton was unable to reach her and called 911 again to say her friend was trapped in the burning single-story home. [Read more…]

Sheriff: Arrest made after indoor marijuana grow, other drugs found

Nathan Allen Underwood

Nathan Allen Underwood

A Rocky Top man was arrested Tuesday when officers serving a search warrant found marijuana plants in various stages of a grow operation, along with indoor grow equipment such as lights, as well as other drug paraphernalia, authorities said. In addition, mushrooms and suspected prescription narcotics were also found, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said.

White said investigators with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, along with officers from the Rocky Top Police Department, and the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force, served a search warrant at a home on Industrial Park Road in Rocky Top on Tuesday afternoon. The search warrant was the result of a joint drug investigation with these agencies.

Authorities arrested Nathan Allen Underwood, 32, of Rocky Top, and he was charged with several drug and weapons offenses, White said. The charges include manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing a controlled substance; possession of Schedule I drugs; possession of Schedule II drugs; possession of drug paraphernalia; and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The sheriff said charges on two other people are expected, pending more investigation into the case.

Underwood remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Sunday afternoon, and his bond has been set at $35,000.

State officials, local agencies to crack down on seat belt use, impaired driving

Kendell Poole

Kendell Poole

Traffic fatalities in Anderson County are up significantly this year, and Tennessee officials and local law enforcement agencies will announce a campaign on Monday to crack down on drivers not using seat belts or driving while impaired during the holidays.

The announcement is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, November 10, at the Oak Ridge Civic Center at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Among those participating will be Kendell Poole, director of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, as well as representatives of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, and Rocky Top police departments.

“There have been 16 traffic fatalities in Anderson County in 2014, which represents a 77 percent increase compared to 2013,” a press release said. “This is the third highest year-to-date difference in fatalities that an individual county has seen in Tennessee. Seventy-five percent of the fatalities were unrestrained. In an effort to prevent additional fatalities and injuries, Anderson County agencies will be increasing enforcement and conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.” [Read more…]