Drugs sent to Sullivan County jail inside TVs

Rain Smith • Apr 15, 2019 at 3:53 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle pills into the Sullivan County jail, hidden inside a pair of TVs she was sending to her incarcerated son.

According to information released Monday by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, detectives began investigating the case on April 5. It was spurred when corrections officers located prescription pills — believed to be Buprenorphine, a Schedule III narcotic — inside a television.

"Televisions are allowed in jail cells," reads a SCSO press release. "However, Sullivan County does not provide them. Inmates may have family members purchase a television and bring it to the jail."

Investigators identified suspects involved in the case as Sherrie Crawford, 55, of Kingsport, and Donovan Johnson, 33, also of Kingsport. Crawford is the mother of Johnson, who has been held in the jail since Feb. 21. His arrest was related to several charges including aggravated assault, aggravated arson and drugs.

While investigators were working on the first case, on April 9 corrections officers discovered another television that was brought to the jail to be delivered to an inmate — and loaded with more prescription Buprenorphine. Once again, the investigation led to Crawford and Johnson as suspects.

Police have since obtained warrants for both. They have each been served the court papers and are charged with two counts of introduction or possession of weapons, explosives, intoxicants or drugs into a penal institution.


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