Multi-state investigation leads to 2 arrests

Published 5:46 pm Thursday, November 9, 2017

A joint investigation with several law enforcement agencies resulted in a large methamphetamine bust and the arrests of two men, one a homicide suspect from Georgia.

A release from the Middlesboro Police Department states that Cowan arrested Sean Knack, 24, of Middlesboro, during a traffic stop at Yoakum Apartments around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Based on evidence discovered during the stop, Knack was charged with one count each of first-degree possession of controlled substance (oxycodone), first-degree trafficking controlled substance (methamphetamine), trafficking marijuana and possession of handgun by a convicted felon,” the release states.

Email newsletter signup

Along with the weapon and other evidence, $3,250 in cash was seized.

Cowan contacted Investigator Lt. Jeremy Myers of the Tazewell Police Department with some information he received. Myers, in turn, enlisted the assistance on Wednesday of Lt. Gary Ruszkowski with the New Tazewell Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers Bobby Brooks and Rex Bailey.

“The tip from Sgt. Cowan led to a vehicle stop conducted by Officer Andrew Sturgill (of the TPD) and the assisting agencies, which led to room 6 of the Dixie Plaza Motel (in Tazewell),” Myers said. “That’s where a wanted homicide suspect from Georgia had rented a room.”

After a search of the room, 2 pounds, 8 ounces of crystal methamphetamine was located, he said.

The man arrested in Tazewell is Steven James Turbeville, of Winder, Georgia.

“He was wanted for homicide and has an extensive criminal history,” Myers said.

Turbeville was arrested and taken to the Claiborne County Jail. He is charged with possession of methamphetamine over 5 grams for resale.

“As the investigation widens, Sgt. Cowan and Lt. Myers have contacted other agencies with information that is likely to result in further seizures and/or drug trafficking charges,” the MPD release states.

MPD Det. Joe Holder, Chief Jeff Sharpe and TPD Chief Mark Lamb also assisted with the investigation.

“This case illustrates the effectiveness of interagency communication and cooperation in drug enforcement efforts,” Sharpe stated. “As the drug abuse problem in the country has evolved, so has the necessity for reachign across jurisdictional lines to combat the problem. Lt. Myers and Sgt. Cowan, as lead investigators, are to be commended for their work and the results.”

All departments involved continue to stress the importance of community involvement in drug enforcement work. Tips and observations from citizens often lead to the arrest and conviction of drug traffickers.