COOKEVILLE — A Wilder resident was arrested at a Cookeville hotel on New Year’s Eve after police discovered a gram of methamphetamine that allegedly belong to him in the toilet tank of a hotel room he was sharing with several friends.
Jesse Harold Cooper, of Sandy Road in Wilder, was charged with the manufacture, distribution and sale of a controlled substance in the incident that happened around 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Cookeville Police Officer Charles Teeters said in a report of the incident that he and several other officers had gone to the hotel with the intention of locating a “wanted party.”
Officer Teeters says in the report that he knocked on the hotel room door, and a male voice from inside asked who was there.
The officer said he responded by saying it was the police, and a male inside the room pulled back the curtain, looked out and said, “It really is the police.”
Officer Teeters in his report says, “I was able to look through a 6- to 8-inch opening in the blinds and observed a male wearing a red sweatshirt entering the bathroom.”
That male was later identified as Cooper.
The same male subject who had pulled back the curtain and looked out the window opened the door, and Officer Teeters said that, in addition to that male subject and Cooper, there were two other males and a female present in the hotel room.
“Concerned that the male that entered the bathroom may be armed, I went to the open bathroom door and encountered Jesse Cooper (wearing the red sweatshirt) coming from behind the shower curtain,” Officer Teeters’ report says.
“Jesse Cooper was very animated, proclaiming his innocence and asking why he was being harassed,” the officer’s report continues.
At that point, Teeters said he explained that the police had received a tip that a “wanted party” was at that location, and he asked to verify Jesse Cooper’s identity.
“I asked Jesse for his identification, and he stated that he did not have any. I asked Jesse for his Social Security number, and he stated he didn’t know it,” the officer’s report says.
Another officer asked the group who had rented the room, and the male who answered the door told them that it was his room but that it had been paid for by someone else.
That officer then asked the male subject for consent to search the room, and the male subject gave verbal consent to search, Officer Teeters report says.
“Officer [Daniel] Trivette went to the bathroom where I located Jesse Cooper and began his search,” the report continues.
He “returned and advised that he recovered a cellophane bag containing suspected meth from the tank portion of the toilet. Two syringes were located in this tank as well,” Officer Teeters says in his report.
Apparently, the methamphetamine in the cellophane bag was further divided into 11 smaller baggies, the contents of which collectively weighed about a gram.
“Believing that Jesse Cooper had placed the contraband in the tank, I placed him in handcuffs,” the officer’s report says.
Officer Teeters says he advised Cooper of his Miranda rights and that Cooper responded that he understood.
However, the officer’s report continues, Cooper “disavowed any knowledge of the recovered methamphetamine and could not explain why he was found in the bathroom.”
The other parties present in the hotel room denied that the recovered methamphetamine belonged to any of them.
A field test of the sample yielded a positive reaction for the presence of methamphetamine, according to Officer Teeter’s report.
“One of the needles appeared to have been used, so another field test was conducted with negative results,” his report continues.
Cooper was transported to the Putnam County Justice Center and charged, but he has since been released on bond.