By Jeff Bobo
Published May 24th, 2010 | Added May 24th, 2010 8:55 pm | 0 Comments
ROGERSVILLE — Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office detectives nabbed a Stanley Valley couple last week accused of dealing pills from their bank safe-deposit box in Rogersville.
According to a HCSO report released Monday, Sgt. Chad Gillenwater received a tip last Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. that Joann Maretta Benton-Gibson, 54, 215 Stanley Valley Road, Lot 15, Rogersville, would be going to the U.S. Bank on Route 66 in Rogersville to retrieve various pills from her safe-deposit box.
The tipster said Benton-Gibson would be taking the pills back to the bank parking lot, where she would be selling a portion of them. The tipster also said Benton-Gibson usually put the proceeds from the sale back into her safe-deposit box.
Within a few minutes, Gillenwater and Sgt. David Benton had positioned themselves where they could maintain constant visual surveillance of the bank.
About 2 p.m., Benton-Gibson arrived at the bank as a passenger in a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier. The driver was later identified as her husband, Johnny Dwayne “J.D.” Gibson, 59, also of 215 Stanley Valley Road, Lot 15, Rogersville.
There was also a female in the back seat of the Cavalier later identified as Cynthia Marie Herron, 28, 120 Bloomer Lane, Rogersville.
Gibson and Benton-Gibson were observed to walk into the bank together and then walk out again and get back into the vehicle. As they exited the bank, Benton-Gibson was reportedly observed to be holding something white cupped in her hand.
Gibson then drove the trio through an adjacent store parking lot and pulled into a parking spot.
A HCSO press release stated,“As Mr. Gibson was traveling through the parking lot, Sgt. Gillenwater was able to observe Mrs. Gibson hand something over the seat to the back seat female passenger.”
Shortly after Gibson parked the car, a minivan pulled up beside the Cavalier. Benton-Gibson then reportedly exited the car and approached the van’s driver’s side window and handed something to the driver.
At that point, officers approached both vehicles and made contact with the suspects. They learned that Benton-Gibson had handed cash to the driver of the van, and no drugs were involved in the exchange, so the occupants of the van weren’t charged.
Herron was allegedly observed to have a white Lortab pill in her hand, and a syringe was also observed in plain view.
Benton-Gibson allegedly told the detectives she’d removed various pills from her safe-deposit box and given them to her husband. She was found to have $149 in cash in her possession, which was seized.
Upon being questioned, Gibson allegedly produced a pill bottle that contained an unspecified quantity of Lortab, oxymorphone, Xanax, morphine and other assorted pills.
Gibson then signed a consent to search form for the safe-deposit box. Inside deputies allegedly found an unspecified quantity of pills of the same type as those found in Gibson’s pill bottle.
The box also contained $2,877.76 in cash, as well as handwritten ledgers that stated the cash price for each type of pill, police said.
The cash, pills, ledger and Gibsons’ vehicle were all seized.
The Gibsons were each charged with delivery of a controlled substance and violation of the Tennessee Drug Control Act.
Herron was charged with possession of Schedule II narcotics, possession of Schedule III narcotics, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Gibsons were released on bond Wednesday. Herron was released on bond Thursday.