DTF informant charged after turning himself in

By Kathy Helms-Hughes
STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   A former confidential informant with the First Judicial District Drug Task Force who drove away Tuesday with $4,000 in marked bills and $7,100 in surveillance equipment to be used in a Carter County "buy-bust" turned himself in Friday at Carter County Sheriff's Department, according to DTF Director Kenneth Phillips.
   DTF recovered $7,100 in surveillance equipment, however, Phillips said, "We still have $4,000 cash missing. The investigation is continuing and we may be making another arrest or two."
   David Clark, 25, 2245 Elizabethton Hwy., Johnson City, has been charged with theft over $10,000 and is being held without bond in Washington County Detention Center with arraignment set for 9 a.m. Monday in General Sessions Court in Jonesborough. He was on probation at the time of theft.
   On Tuesday, Clark told agents he had arranged a narcotics purchase and was outfitted with surveillance equipment and given $4,000 in marked currency. Clark then left to make the buy.
   "We had two tail cars on him," Phillips said. "We had three agents in each car for his protection in case something went wrong. It just so happened that a car got between both tail cars, or cover cars as we call them. It may have been intentional; it may have been coincidental. But he took off and we couldn't get around them. By the time we realized that he was getting away from us, he had turned the wire off and there was an intersection there and we couldn't find him."
   Phillips said DTF had received "great cooperation" from Carter County Sheriff's Department, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Johnson City Police Bureau, which have been assisting them in the investigation since Tuesday.
   "We've been right behind him about two days. He didn't have many friends in Johnson City, apparently, because people were calling and telling us where he was. It was just a matter of time before we got him."
   Clark turned himself in, in Carter County and was transported by deputies to Washington County, where he was handed over to authorities.
   "We've recovered all of our equipment," Phillips said Saturday. Clark's vehicle was located Wednesday, along with a repeater worth about $5,000.
   "He took us and showed us where the last piece was," Phillips said.