Barbourville City Police responded to a report of a stolen van at Pope Lumber Company on Thursday. Officers Eric Martin and Chase Henson responded to retrieve information on the vehicle.
On the morning of Friday, January 5 2018, Officer Henson located the vehicle at Messer’s Market. A female was located in the back of the vehicle and three other individuals were found inside the store. Through the investigation, it was found that a male located inside the store was in possession of the vehicle.
Eric T. Johnson, Barbourville, was arrested was charged with theft by unlawful taking, auto $500 or more but under $10,000, first degree trafficking in controlled substance (Methamphetamine), public intoxication-controlled substance (excludes alcohol), drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. While searching Johnson, Officer Martin located a clear plastic baggy containing a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, a set of digital scales, several small baggies, hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia. Officer Henson also arrested David Davis, charging him with public intoxication (excludes alcohol) and drug paraphernalia.
The van was then returned unharmed to its owner, Herschel Mills, Assisting at the scene were Police Chief Winston Tye and Sergeant Robert Brown.
“I’m happy we were able to get the vehicle back to its owner, and as a bonus, we were able to get more drugs off the streets,” said Officer Martin. “Also, we want to remind people to make sure their vehicles are locked and not to leave their keys in them.”