Four arrested after officers tipped to Roan Mountain party

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

   Several persons were arrested around 11 p.m. Tuesday after officers from Carter County Sheriff's Department received information regarding the location of a party where children were believed to be present and where drugs were being used.
   Deputy Brad Johnson, Deputy Sarah Ryan and K-9 Sgt. Kabor, Deputy Eric Buck, Constable Muriel Holtsclaw and Constable Leonard Johnson went to the location near Buck Creek Road off U.S. Highway 19E in Roan Mountain and found several individuals present. As the units approached, officers observed a male passenger inside a vehicle hurriedly exit, while the driver, identified as Jonah L. Potter, 27, 832 Hwy. 91, appeared to be attempting to conceal something, according to Deputy Ryan.
   Potter told the officer he was at the location checking for trespassers. Deputy Ryan observed a needle cap lying in the floorboard of the vehicle, a spoon under the driver's seat, and a cigarette with a partially dismantled filter lying on the dashboard.
   Knowing the items to be consistent with the use of illegal narcotics, Deputy Ryan received permission to search. When Potter emptied his pockets the officer found a pipe believed to contain marijuana and a "loaded" needle. The officer also recovered a spoon with a partially dissolved white substance which Potter advised was cocaine, two blue pills believed to be Valium, and a portion of a clear plastic baggie lying on the ground next to the vehicle.
   Potter was arrested by Deputy Ryan and charged with possession of Schedule VI, possession of Schedule II, possession of Schedule III and possession of drug paraphernalia.
   Earnest Watts Johns, 22, 652 Jena Beth Drive, was arrested by Deputy Brad Johnson after the officer asked him for identification and found what was believed to be marijuana folded up inside a paper. Johns was charged with possession of Schedule VI.
   Lori Lee Buchanan, 40, 155 Hubert Shell Road, Roan Mountain, was found sitting inside a vehicle and was observed to have fresh needle marks on her left forearm. Deputy Johnson also detected a strong odor of alcohol about her person and charged Buchanan with public intoxication.
   Billie Steele Johnson, 27, 154 Roaring Creek Road, Elk Park, N.C., was arrested by Deputy Ryan after she was found sitting in the driver's seat of a gray Mazda and was observed to have fresh "needle tracks" on both arms. Her pupils were dilated and her actions slowed.
   Johnson told Deputy Ryan that she was an intravenous drug user, according to the report. A used needle was found lying by the driver's side of the vehicle, however, Johnson said the needle was not hers. She was charged by Deputy Ryan with public intoxication.
   Around 12:55 a.m., Elizabethton Police Department Ptl. Jason McCall observed a vehicle parked at Stateline Market on U.S. Highway 19E and approached the vehicle. The driver, Crystal Kay Jones, 27, 158 Parlier St., Elk Park, N.C., and George Marvin Cook, 38, 750 Hampton Creek Road, Hampton, told the officer they had stopped at the store to buy cigarettes. Ptl. McCall informed them that the store was closed.
   While running a warrant check, the officer was informed that the two subjects had been in Roan Mountain earlier and had left just prior to the arrest of several subjects.
   Ptl. McCall received permission to search the vehicle and Deputy Ryan and Sgt. Kabor were called to the scene. Sgt. Kabor alerted to the vehicle and a search was conducted. Officers found a spoon with a bent handle and a 2-inch straw inside a pack of cigarettes located in Cook's pocket. The cap to a syringe also was found. The items were confiscated and will be destroyed, according to the report. Jones and Cook were not charged.