Local vandalism investigation leads to discovery of pornographic photo of child

By Julie Fann
star staff

   An investigation into a vandalized mailbox in Carter County on Monday evening led to a man who was arrested on numerous charges, including one related to a pornographic photograph of a child police found in the cab of his truck.
   Elizabethton Police Department officers were dispatched to 415 Jena Beth Dr. at approximately 9 p.m. in regard to a reported vandalism of a mailbox at the residence. Mr. William L. White told police that a truck had hit his mailbox and continued driving.
   Police located a truck at 652 Jena Beth Dr. with the driver's side window open and the engine still warm. EPD Ptl. Joy Shoun noticed several males walking down the steps of a nearby apartment complex and recognized one of them as Curtis James Dugger, 18, of 1709 Southside Rd.
   When questioned, Dugger admitted he was the owner of the truck that hit the mailbox and said he left the scene because he panicked and didn't know what to do. Two other men who were with Dugger when he was questioned and during the incident said Dugger purposely swerved and hit the mailbox, while Dugger claimed he dropped a cell phone and accidentally crashed into it, the police report by Shoun states.
   When Shoun searched Dugger, she found a flare gun with a flare round in the chamber in the front zipper pocket of his jacket. Dugger said he was carrying the weapon because someone he knew had threatened to kill him.
   According to police, Dugger was also found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and was under the influence of an intoxicant.
   Shoun also stated she found a "vulgar photograph" while searching Dugger's truck for towing purposes. The police report states, "The picture was an obscene picture of a small female child with her legs spread open. He (Dugger) stated that it was a baby picture of his girlfriend that she had given him."
   Dugger was also unable to provide proof of car insurance to police. He was arrested and charged with public intoxication, simple possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, going armed, sexual exploitation of a minor (pornography/obscene material), and violation of the financial responsibility law.
   Dugger is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Nov. 17.