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Officers conduct "round-up" of drug dealers, others in Sequatchie County
Karen House
May 25, 2017, 3:21 p.m.

May 25, 2017 – In a conclusion to a months-long investigation, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted a major round-up Wednesday, May 24, of suspects indicted by the Sequatchie County Grand Jury, most on drug charges.

One of the notable exceptions was Zachery Colton Higgins, 27, of a Bowman Street address in Dunlap, who was indicted on the charge of aggravated rape.

Higgins was at his house when the officers arrived, and upon receiving consent to search the house, officers found “two loaded weapons and approximately 2 ounces of methamphetamine packaged for resale,” Dunlap Police Chief Clint Huth said Thursday.

The weapons were a Glock 27 .40-caliber pistol and a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber pistol. It turned out the Glock was reported stolen from a local vehicle in December, Huth said. Higgins had past convictions for aggravated burglary (2007), robbery (2009), and felon in possession of a firearm (2012). He now stands charged with possession of meth for resale, felon in possession of firearms, possession of Schedule II (prescription pills unlawfully obtained), and possession of stolen property, in addition to the original charge of aggravated rape.

Huth said the round-up was a cooperative effort, with the Dunlap Police Department, Sequatchie County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Corrections -- and even Puckett EMS -- going out in three teams to apprehend men and women on a list of indictments returned Monday by the Grand Jury.

The three teams each had a “tactical” paramedic along.

They're like a combat medic,” Huth explained. “They are trained to act as a paramedic in a high-risk situation.” The paramedics were “just in case,” but no one was reported injured in this week's operation.

Our officers and the sheriff's officers – our detectives – have been doing a lot of undercover drug investigations,” Huth explained. “We've been planning this operation several months.”

Tips from the public played a big role in the drug arrests, Huth pointed out. When people call the police and inform them of known drug manufacture and sales going on, it gives officers a starting point for taking it off the streets.

We've been gathering evidence, gathering surveillance,” he said. “Then we presented 25 original cases to the Grand Jury for possible indictment. All of them came back as true bills. A total of 30 people were on that list,” although a few on the list were not drug-related, he added.

Arrested for sale and delivery of methamphetamine were:

  • Joshua Newman, 33 years old.
  • Jeremie Phillips, 39 (2 counts).
  • Christopher Dylan Cowley, 26.
  • Doyle Hatfield, 36 (2 counts).
  • Mary Ann Land, 52 (2 counts).
  • Jason Lee Harmon, 39.
  • Jessica Summers, 21.
  • Jacob Maple, 26.
  • Kevin Shane Cooley, 40 (3 counts).
  • Timothy J. Johnson, 49.

Arrested for manufacture of marijuana were Daniel Lee Sullivan, 58, Stephanie Yvette Lowe, 42, and Noah Lee Lowe, 45.

Shirley Elizabeth Harvey, 44, was arrested for 2 counts of theft / forgery. Jeffery L. Hall, 32, was charged with aggravated burglary.

Hall, Phillips, and Harmon were easy to find – they were already in the Sequatchie County Jail on other charges. Kirby D. Wideman, 45, and Jaysenda Lacreed Boyd, 24, both charged with sale and delivery of meth, were located in the Grundy County Jail.

And Zachary Tate, a 26-year-old white male wanted for sale and delivery of meth, is believed to be in Louisiana, Huth said.

Eleven suspects on the round-up list have yet to be located, but authorities will be looking for them in coming days.