A Harlan County man was arrested on drug charges by the Sullivan County, Tennessee’s Sheriff’s Office along with a Blountville, Tennessee woman Friday night. Police are still looking for another individual who fled during a pursuit.
According to a press release, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received information that Ashley Kirkpatrick, 41, was transporting drugs in a maroon Buick. A check of Kirkpatrick’s information showed that she also had outstanding warrants for theft and felony failure to appear.
The release also states that an officer spotted a vehicle matching that description traveling southbound along Interstate 81. The vehicle was occupied by three people. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle around mile marker 53. The driver refused to stop and continued driving southbound, passing vehicles in the emergency lane. At approximately mile marker 40 in Greene County, the vehicle suffered a tire blowout. At that point the vehicle came to a stop and the driver and two passengers got out and fled on foot. Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers, who were assisting in the pursuit, captured two of the individuals not far from their vehicle. They were identified as Kirkpatrick and Arnold Fee Jr. The third suspect fled into a wooded area and has not been located.
A SCSO K-9 Unit along with a helicopter from the Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation Unit responded to the scene to help search for the suspect. At this time Michael Hutchins is believed to be the suspect that is still on the run. Hutchins has outstanding warrants for failure to appear.
Police said upon searching the vehicle, officers found a gun and the street drug Alpha-PVP, otherwise known as “gravel.”
All three suspects are being charged in connection with the items found inside the vehicle as well as evading arrest.
Upon being booked into the Sullivan County Correctional Facility, the release states officers discovered that Kirkpatrick was attempting to conceal Alpha-PVP. As a result she is also charged with possession of contraband in a penal institution.
Police said at this time the search for Hutchins is ongoing. Anyone who may come in contact with him is asked to contact authorities immediately. The investigation is also ongoing and additional charges are pending.
Fee, 28, of Harlan, is charged with unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, schedule I drug violations, unlawful drug paraphernalia, evading arrest, driving while license is suspended or revoked and speeding.
Kirkpatrick is charged with unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, schedule I drug violations, possession of a controlled substance analogue, unlawful drug paraphernalia, evading arrest, contraband in a penal institution, theft over $500 and felony failure to appear.