A local man was caught red-handed Sunday afternoon with a five-pound bag of marijuana, part of what Coffee County authorities believe is an interstate drug smuggling ring.
The local man, Heath R. Crisp, 24, is charged with possession of drugs and is being held along with his fellow defendants in Coffee County under $200,000 bond. His alleged partners in crime all hail from Huntsville, Texas and are identified as Derryck D. Collins, 28, Justin Jerod Lillard, 28, and Nakeya S. Jones, 35.
The four were arrested around 4 p.m. Sunday by elements of the Tullahoma Police Department, Manchester Police Department and Coffee County Sheriff’s Department. According to Cody Brandon of the Tullahoma Police Department, he came across information there was a large load of marijuana coming into the area Sunday.
The location of the delivery was pinpointed to the Economy Inn on Interstate Drive in Manchester by late afternoon and lawmen took up observation posts and watched the suspects unload several large bales of marijuana from a vehicle and take them into the motel. Minutes later Crisp was seen leaving the scene with a bag. He was pulled over by officers and found in possession of a five-pound bag of marijuana.
A search of the motel room where the drugs had been unloaded netted over 35 pounds of marijuana. Investigators suspect the four were planning to traffic the marijuana locally after smuggling it in from Texas.
Crisp made headlines four years ago when he and fellow suspect Kinsley Fisk were acquitted on charges they raped a Martin Street woman. Four other suspects in the case ended up going to jail while Crisp and Fisk opted for a trial, during which they were eventually acquitted.