CCSD, DTF seize 70 bags of heroin; N.Y. escapee captured

By Kathy Helms-Hughes and Abby Morris
Star Staff
khelms@starhq.com; amorris@starhq.com
A year-long investigation between Carter County Sheriff's Department and the First Judicial District Drug Task Force has resulted in the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of 70 bags of heroin, 12 grams of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia, and two weapons, according to Carter County Sheriff John Henson.
The sheriff said felony arrest and search warrants were executed Thursday at 135 Hillside Drive in Johnson City after the sheriff's department received information from New York State Department of Corrections Investigator M.G. Nackley regarding a man wanted for felony absconding/escape.
Through investigation the sheriff's department obtained an address for Clifton "Mugsy" Maxwell, 28, 135 Hillside Drive, Johnson City, which led them to McCorkle Acres Subdivision in the county.
Henson said he had received numerous complaints from citizens in the community concerned with increased traffic flow that was possibly was drug related. Sheriff Henson contacted DTF Director Kenneth Phillips regarding a drug investigation at the Hillside Drive residence and the execution of a warrant for Maxwell's arrest.
On Thursday, DTF agents set up in the vicinity of the Maxwell residence and after about two hours of constant surveillance, observed two individuals, Maxwell and an unidentified juvenile, leave the residence and arrive at the agents' location. Agents contacted the 911 Elizabethton Emergency Communications Center and requested assistance. The sheriff, Capt. George Skeans and Lt. Harvey Guess arrived to assist DTF agents.
Following Maxwell's arrest, agents obtained a search warrant for the residence while Sheriff Henson and other officers maintained security at the residence.
Deputy Sarah Ryan and her partner, K-9 Sgt. Kabor, were called to the scene to assist in the search. Sgt. Kabor swept the residence and gave several positive alerts.
Agents and deputies then conducted a hand search of the residence and found 70 bags of heroin with a street value of $5,000, a small amount of marijuana, digital and mechanical scales, assorted drug paraphernalia, illegal narcotics packaging material, a ballistic vest, approximately $400 in cash, and two handguns -- a .45 revolver and a 380 automatic handgun -- according to Henson.
Maxwell was charged with being a fugitive from justice, possession of Schedule I for resale, sale of Schedule II, possession of Schedule VI, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on suspended driver's license and criminal impersonation. He is being held in Carter County Jail without bond.
Tanya Maxwell, Clifton Maxwell's wife, 28, of the same address, was also arrested in the incident. According to a report by Ryan, when she arrived on the scene, DTF agents advised her that a female identified as Tanya Maxwell had left the area on foot. Ryan followed a trail of footprints and located Tanya Maxwell hiding in a wooded fence row behind an abandoned residence.
Tanya Maxwell was taken into custody at that time. A search of Tanya Maxwell's person turned up a small amount of marijuana in a plastic bag. She was charged with possession of Schedule I for resale, two counts of possession of Schedule VI, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $31,000. Both Tanya Maxwell and Clifton Maxwell are scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
"I would like for the people of Carter County to know that my department is dedicated and committed to fighting the illegal narcotics trafficking in our county and requests that if you have any information concerning illegal narcotics trafficking in your neighborhood, to call the sheriff's department at 543-2211 or the Drug Task Force at 928-1073," Henson said, adding that the information provided and the name of the caller will be kept confidential, he said.
"I would like to thank the officers of my department and the agents of the First Judicial Drug Task Force that assisted in the apprehension of Clifton Maxwell on the out-of-state warrants and the execution of the search warrant. The cooperation between these two agencies brought this investigation to a successful conclusion," Henson said.