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Drugs, 31 Guns & $1,000’s in Cash

By Jessie Williams

After an eight-month-long investigation, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department apprehended two local drug dealers last week.

According to sheriff Mark Gammons, his department began investigating 53-year-old Debbie Thompson in June of 2016 for the sale of narcotics.

“During the course of the investigation, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department received undercover buys from Ms. Thompson,” Sheriff Gammons said. “And in February 2017, we received indictments from the Macon County Grand Jury on her.”

Macon County Sheriff’s Department Detective Shane Gregory explained that when the indictments were served at Thompson’s 6167 Tooley Branch Rd. residence, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle coming from Thompson’s home – where the occupant of the vehicle admitted to just purchasing a loaded needle.

“We then spoke with Ms. Thompson and told her we had an indictment for her arrest. We were also able to perform a probation search of Ms. Thompson’s residence, since she was already on state probation for selling narcotics,” remarked Detective Gregory. 

Inside the home Thompson shared with 65-year-old Michael Wix, authorities discovered a total of 31 long guns and pistols, over $3,000 in cash stashed in a safe and a hoodie sweatshirt, syringes in various locations and narcotics including Hydrocodone and Hydro-Morphine, a pill commonly used to treat severe pain in terminally ill patients. 

One of the guns found in the home was also discovered by authorities to be stolen.

“While we were still at the residence, another vehicle pulled up to possibly purchase narcotics,” said Detective Gregory. “The occupant of the vehicle, Danny Richards, was arrested by the THP for driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.”

Four children ranging from age 2 to age 14 also lived in the Tooley Branch Rd. home, where drugs were found accessible to them. The Department of Child Services was called to the scene to assist with the children.

Debbie Thompson was charged with manufacture of narcotics (2 counts), theft of property, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Michael Wix was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of property and possession of a schedule II drug (2 counts).

They are both scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on March 8, 2017. 

This is an ongoing investigation and more charges in this case are expected. 

“I would like to thank the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Lafayette Police Department, Macon County Sheriff’s Department deputies and detectives and community tipsters for their assistance in this case,” added Sheriff Gammons.