According to a press release by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Operation “March Madness” put in place by the police department resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals this week.
Sheriff Eddie Farris announced that “March Madness” began after the grand jury indictment of multiple individuals. The indictments come after the PCSO Drug Task Force Unit and other law enforcement partners began an investigation approximately 12 months ago regarding the sale and use of illegal narcotics in Putnam County, according to the press release.
— Putnam Co. TN Sheriff – Eddie Farris, Sheriff (@putnamsheriffTN) March 10, 2022
Several types of drugs, including methamphetamine, schedule II prescription pain pills, and heroin that tested positive for fentanyl were discovered on the people arrested on Thursday. The arrests “resulted in the seizure of those narcotics and the seizure of cash, drug paraphernalia, and other items commonly used in the illegal sale or use of narcotics,” the press release notes.
The following individuals were arrested and charged:
- Issac Scott Blanton, 37, of Sparta, TN
- Brittney Lynn Bryant, 21, of Rickman, TN
- David Michael Fetterolf, 37, of Cookeville, TN
- Scottie Ray Hamilton, 46, of Hillham, TN
- Gregory Bryan Hutchings, 51, of Sparta, TN
- Lashawn Denise Johnson, 50, of Cookeville, TN
- Phillip Paul Jones, 38, of Monterey, TN
- Randy Fred Langford, 52, of Cookeville, TN
- James Leggett, 74, of Cookeville, TN
- Brian Glenn Roberts, 42, of Cookeville, TN
- Ashley Sellers, 30, of Silver Point, TN
- Adrianna Wallace, 27, of Cookeville, TN
- Jacob Thomas Wallace, 28, of Cookeville, TN
The following individual was picked up on an active warrant during the operation:
- Austin Scott Payton, 21, of Crossville, TN
“This operation is the result of months long investigation and the relentless work of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Drug Task Force Unit. Your Sheriff’s Office will continue dedicating necessary resources to combat illegal narcotic activity in our county,” Farris said in a statement. “As always, this criminal activity is one of the highest priorities, this type of criminal behavior activity makes up the majority of individuals incarcerated at the Putnam County Jail. We will continue keeping our community protected and safe, but this must be addressed frequently and aggressively. In the last year our overdose rates have doubled, and we have seen a significant increase in the amount of illegal narcotics all over the nation – Putnam County is no different and I believe this is a direct result of the failed policies and actions on our nation’s Southern border.”
Deputies from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, along with other assisting agencies including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC), Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), High Intensity Drug Task Force (HIDTA), United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshals Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) carried out the operation, the press release notes.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.