Checkpoint nets two men on drug charges

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

STAFF REPORT

Two Harlan County men were arrested Wednesday night during a routine checkpoint in Bell County on a variety of drug charges.

Arrested were Ronald Williams, 47, of Coldiron, and James Gilbert, 66, of Loyall.

On Wednesday night, during an approved checkpoint on Highway 217, Bell County K-9 Sgt. Adam Southern observed Williams operating a 2002 black Chevy Impala while not wearing a seatbelt.

Upon conducting a traffic stop, Williams failed to provide proof of valid insurance and a driver’s license. He was also seen continuously moving around inside of the vehicle, along with Gilbert, who was in the passenger’s seat, in what appeared to be an attempt to hide something. Southern then asked Williams to exit the vehicle to conduct safety pat down. K9 Chan was then deployed and alerted to the driver side exterior door.

Also on scene was Sgt. Frank Foster, who assisted in searching the vehicle where he located a small pistol tucked in between the driver’s seat/center console and a rifle laying in the back, across the floorboard.

Sgt. Southern then located a small bag of crystal substance believed to be Methamphetamine, a small bag of white powder believed to be Fentanyl, one syringe with residue, and $27,859.00 in cash loosely stuffed in a black bag and a Cheezit box.

Deputy Southern then confirmed through dispatch that both Williams and Gilbert were previously convicted of multiple felonies. Dispatch also confirmed the rifle to be stolen. Both men were booked into the Bell County Detention Center.

Williams was charged with buying/possessing drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 2nd offense or greater (less than 2 grams – Methamphetamine), importing Carfentanil, Fentanyl or Fentanyl Derivatives, receiving stolen property (firearm), failure to wear seatbelts, operating vehicle with expired operator’s license and no insurance. He was also served with a bench warrant for multiple motor vehicle violations.

Gilbert was charged with buying/possessing drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, trafficking in controlled substance – 1st degree, 2nd offense (less than 2 grams – Methamphetamine), and importing Carfentanil, Fentanyl or Fentanyl Derivatives.