Three arrested for drugs

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   Three people were arrested late Monday night and charged with narcotics offenses following a shoplifting incident at a local store.
   Donna Lee Hopson, 31, 2140 W. G St., Apt. 7, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and theft under $500.
   Billy Johnson, 46, 1125 Bluefield Ave., was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia and theft under $500.
   Vickie E. Street, 41, 277 Teaberry Rd., Roan Mountain, was charged with the possession of Schedule IV narcotics with the intent to resale.
   According to police reports, officers were summoned to Wal-Mart on West Elk Avenue on a report of shoplifting. Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department and agents of the First Judicial District Drug Task Force responded.
   "Upon my arrival I spoke with the loss prevention personnel, who stated that Mr. Johnson and Ms. Hopson had been caught attempting to steal Pseudoephedrine," EPD Ptl. Richard Haney said in his report. "Mr. Johnson had 120 pills in his possession and Ms. Hopson had 80 pills in her possession. Johnson also had 16 lithium batters in his pocket."
   Pseudoephedrine, a common element in many over-the-counter cold medications, is often used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Lithium batteries are also used in the production of the drug.
   "Due to the amount of Pseudoephedrine and lithium batteries in his possession, Mr. Johnson is being charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia," Haney said.
   While searching Street for shoplifted items, Haney discovered eight white pills in a plastic bag which were later identified as Diazepam, another name for Valium. "Because they appeared to be packaged for resale she is being charged with possession with intent to resale," Haney said.
   During an inventory of Hopson's vehicle, Haney and agents of the DTF found an ink pen that had been converted into what appeared to be a pipe and tin foil. "Ms. Hopson admitted to (a DTF agent) that they were hers and that she used them to smoke methamphetamine. Therefore she is being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia," Haney said, adding that Hopson was also served with two outstanding warrants from Johnson County.