December 3, 2013 Contact: Marian O'Briant
Cell Phone: 755-8640
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Narcotics Unit responds to three separate meth-related cases Monday
Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said investigators with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force responded to three separate methamphetamine-related cases Monday, one which was an active meth lab site.
In total, five individuals were arrested and three were cited with meth-related charges.
The first incident occurred at around 4 p.m. when investigators with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Hunter's Crossing Drive. Investigators were alerted by a local business that three suspicious individuals were attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine, a precursor for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Investigators stopped the vehicle because they recognized the driver, Cynthia Renee Evans, 47, and knew she was driving on a suspended driver's license. Evans gave consent to search the vehicle, and investigators found pseudoephedrine and other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The following individuals were taken into custody:
" Cynthia Renee Evans, 47, Sheets Hollow Road, Greenback. Evans is charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
" Steven Lynn Rauhuff, 51, Huffstetler Road, Maryville. Rauhuff is charged with conspiracy to manufacture of methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant for violation of probation.
" Joseph Ray Scearce, 25, Sheets Hollow Road, Greenback. Scearce is charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Bond amounts and court dates have not yet been set for these individuals. This investigation is ongoing, and other individuals could be charged.
At around 5 p.m., a narcotics investigator observed three individuals acting suspiciously in the parking lot of local business on U.S. Highway 411 South. Investigators conducted a traffic stop on that vehicle in the 3000 block of U.S. Highway 411 South. The driver gave investigators consent to search the vehicle, and they found pseudoephedrine and other precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The three individuals were all cited with immediate methamphetamine precursors and released:
" Dillon Justin Johnson, 22, of Madisonville.
" Steven Michael Ayers, 24, of Madisonville.
" Adam Reed Walker, 25, of Madisonville.
At around 6 p.m., Maryville Police Department responded to a call that an individual was in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine in his vehicle at a residence on Wright Road. When officers arrived, they found Joshua Rick Rhinehart, 28, of Wright Road, Maryville, in his vehicle. They also saw several components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as several one pot method meth labs in the vehicle, one which was in the process of manufacturing meth. Investigators with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force arrived to neutralize the labs. The Maryville Fire Department responded and decontaminated Rhinehart on the scene, and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service was on the scene on standby while investigators disposed of the hazardous waste. Rhinehart, as well as another individual, Ditrah Lynn Guffey, 30, also of Wright Road, Maryville, were taken into custody.
" Joshua Rhinehart is charged with initiating the process of methamphetamine.
" Ditrah Guffey is charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Rhinehart and Guffey will face their charges in Blount County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. December 11th. Bond amounts have not yet been set.
The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force responded to both Hunter's Crossing and to Wright Road to dispose of the hazardous material.
The Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force is comprised of deputies and officers with the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Maryville Police Department, and Alcoa Police Department. All Drug Task Force investigators are members of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force.
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