BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. – A Blountville man faces multiple charges of illegal drug distribution.
Keith Vestal, 42, of Blountville, was arrested by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, according to a written statement.
Vestal was charged with manufacturing, delivering, selling or possessing methamphetamine, resisting arrest, evading arrest, expiring registration, driving while license is suspended or revoked and possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, two outstanding arrest warrants for violation of probation and failure to report to jail were served on Vestal.
On Sunday, February 6, deputies observed Vestal driving a vehicle on Sullivan Gardens Parkway in the Kingsport area. Deputies were aware of outstanding arrest warrants for Vestal and also that he did not possess a valid driver’s license.
Deputies approached Vestal in a company parking lot and he attempted to flee from the officers on foot. Vestal was unable to outrun the deputies and, after being arrested, resisted arrest. He was found to have 22 grams of what is believed to be crystal meth, a glass smoking pipe and $9,618 in cash on him, the statement said.
A search warrant was obtained for Vestal’s vehicle. During the search, investigators found 122 grams of crystal meth, 116 grams of marijuana, four grams of heroin, four grams of cocaine, two LSD patches, four Suboxone strips, 77 ½ pills of various types, several items of drug paraphernalia, three loaded handguns and $570 in cash were inside the vehicle. The market value of the drugs was $11,751, according to the release.
SCSO currently has an investigator in its Special Operations Unit who is part of a federal task force with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Due to the nature of the charges and Vestal’s criminal history, the ATF task force officer is pursuing federal charges against Vestal, including possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offence, and criminal in possession of a firearm.
Authorities seized more than $10,000 in cash and the vehicle he was driving.
Vestal remains housed in the Sullivan County Jail without bond.
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