Huntsville pair booked on narcotics charges following shopliftinginvestigation

Huntsville, TN (2015-10-26) A Huntsville pair has been booked on a litany of drug charges following an investigation into shoplifting at a Huntsville discount store.

Dennis Thomas Newport, 48, and Jerri Michelle Birchfield, 43, both of Huntsville, were arrested Friday afternoon following an investigation by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department into an allegation the pair were shoplifting from the Dollar General Store in Huntsville.

According to an arrest warrant filed by Criminal Interdiction Agent Keith Hawkins of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Birchfield allegedly store about $50 worth of merchandise from the store.  Authorities allegedly found the stolen goods on her person and inside the couple’s car, which was searched in the course of the shoplifting investigation.

Inside the car, authorities also reportedly found a variety of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, including .67 grams of crystal meth, Suboxone, Hydrocodone, and Xanax.

At the time of her arrest, Birchfield reportedly had a red powder residue dripping from her nostrils.  While she admitted to officers she had snorted a Xanax prior to their arrival, officers would later find a red suboxone tablet and snorting straw in her vehicle, leading them to believe she had used the latter.  During questioning, Birchfield admitted to having used drugs while working as a cook at the former Perdue’s Shell in Helenwood.  Birchfield also blamed her shoplifting on her employer—claiming “they did not pay her enough”.

Newport and Birchfield both reportedly admitted to possessing the drugs.  According to a warrant filed by Deputy Gordon Byrd, Newport also admitted to the causal exchange of drugs, after Birchfield claimed Newport had given her the Xanax, which he apparently had been prescribed.

Birchfield was charged with shoplifting, possession of a schedule II controlled substances (meth and Hydrocodone), possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone and Xanax), and possession of drug paraphernalia (5 counts).

Newport was booked on three charges, including possession of a schedule II controlled substance (meth); possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone); and drug paraphernalia (4 counts).