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A Saturday night search for methamphetamine led officers with the Elizabethton Police Department to a Jeep and a hotel room.

 Officers John Bulla and Sarah Ellison speak to Devin Wiley on Saturday evening after they found a mobile meth lab in his vehicle. Wiley was arrested on multiple drug and weapons-related charges. The vehicle was stopped on C Street.

A short time after 9 p.m. on Saturday, Carter County 911 received a call about a male subject purchasing suspicious items in the area of the Elizabethton Food City on Broad Street. The caller said the subject purchased coffee filters, lithium batteries and sandwich bags. Dispatchers told police the subject left the store in a Jeep Cherokee.

Ptl. John Bulla located the vehicle nearby on Main Street and was informed the vehicle was registered to Charles Wiley. The officer determined the vehicle was driven by Devin Wiley, who was wanted on a warrant for violation of probation, and conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of East Elk Avenue and East C Street. The vehicle came to a stop and parked behind the Elizabethton Church of Christ on C Street.

While speaking to Wiley, Bulla said he observed a club with a metal pointed spike at his feet. Wiley was then asked to exit his vehicle and was placed under arrest for the active warrant.

The officer said he found Wiley to be in possession of three small bundles of a white powdery substance and a green container containing a plastic baggie with white powdery substance.

Bulla said he was familiar with Wiley and knew he was associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The officer asked Wiley if he had any lab components in the vehicle and Wiley advised there was a briefcase inside containing items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Once it was determined the vehicle may contain a mobile meth lab, officers called the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, Carter County Rescue Squad and Elizabethton Fire Department for assistance.

At 11 p.m., Capt. Greg Workman and a second officer put on protective suits, gloves and masks in order to safely search and examine the Jeep. They removed several items from the vehicle, including drain cleaner, lye, acid, Coleman fuel, salt, lithium batteries, coffee filters, a funnel and plastic tubing. There were also sandwich bags, hypodermic syringes, a container with water and mason jars with a white residue. According to an arrest warrant, the white residue was consistent with methamphetamine product.

After the initial search, Bulla said he recovered the spike from the floorboard. He also located a knife with a fixed blade inside a sheath beside the driver’s seat. There was also a wooden club with electrical tape in the front compartment.

Capt. Workman said afterwards that officers believed there was also an active meth lab inside a hotel room at the Traveler’s Inn, located at 505 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton. After midnight Sunday, officers from the EPD, the CCRS, EFD and the TMTF went to the hotel to search a second-story room. Workman said officers evacuated a portion of the hotel as agents searched the room. No meth lab was located, but officers did locate evidence of activity.

Wiley, 21, of 3697 Greenwood Drive, Jonesborough, was arrested on the warrant charging him with violation of probation. He also faces new charges of possession of Schedule II drugs for resale, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, manufacturing a controlled substance, unlawful drug paraphernalia and possession of a prohibited weapon. He was transported to the Carter County Jail.

Workman said local law enforcement is familiar with Wiley, who has previous methamphetamine- related charges in Carter County.


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