|On January 12, 2017 at approximately 11:45 AM, an Officer assigned to the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit was conducting routine traffic enforcement on Fort Henry Drive, near the Interstate 81 interchange, in the Colonial Heights area of Kingsport. He observed a white 2006 Chevrolet Impala traveling at a high rate of speed, which he estimated to be approximately 60 mph, in a posted 35 mph zone. This was soon confirmed when his radar unit returned a reading of 59 mph.
The officer conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, identified as James Leon Bradley, Jr. Mr. Bradley immediately confessed to neither having a driver license nor insurance on the vehicle. The license plate displayed on the vehicle was also registered to an entirely different vehicle.
While speaking with Mr. Bradley, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from his person and the interior of the vehicle. Mr. Bradley attempted to explain the odor by claiming that his passenger had “smoked a blunt” just moments before the traffic stop. Based upon this information, the officer asked him for permission to search the vehicle, and he consented.
Prior to conducting a physical search, a K.P.D. K-9 handler responded and walked his dog around the exterior of the vehicle. The dog alerted, returning a positive indication for drugs inside the vehicle. During the subsequent physical search of the passenger compartment of the car, the following were found:
1) Green plant material believed to be marijuana
2) Small plastic baggie containing an unknown white powder substance
3) Plastic baggie containing burnt marijuana “joints”
4) Set of digital scales
During a search of the trunk of the car, the following was found:
1) A small black safe
Mr. Bradley stated that he had never accessed the trunk area of his car before. He claimed that he had never seen the safe and told the officers that they “could have it.” The officers placed the safe on the ground and walked the police K-9 around it. The dog alerted, returning a positive indication for drugs inside the safe.
During a search of Mr. Bradley’s person, the following was found:
1) Approximately $1,300 in cash
Mr. Bradley claimed that the cash was from the recent sale of a motorcycle; however, he could not provide any bill of sale or other documentation for this alleged transaction. He also reported that he was currently unemployed.
Detectives from the K.P.D. Vice and Narcotics Unit responded to assist with the investigation. The cash was seized as suspected profits from illegal drug sales. All of the contraband, as well as the still locked safe, were seized as evidence. Mr. Bradley was placed under arrest and transported to the Kingsport City Jail.
A valid search warrant was obtained and executed on the safe. When opened, the following contents were discovered:
1) 12 rounds of unfired .22 caliber ammunition
2) A glass jar
3) 2 baggies of a crystal like substance (believed to be crystal methamphetamine)
4) 3 baggies of a rock like substance (believed to be crack cocaine)
5) 2 baggies of green plant material (believed to be marijuana)
6) A yellow pill (believed to be Xanax)
7) A baggie with an unknown white substance
8) An open box of sandwich baggies
9) A grinder
10) Approximately $240 in cash
11) A razor knife
12) A pack of matches
13) A digital scale box
14) Razor blades
15) A credit card
16) A health insurance card with Mr. Bradley’s name on it.
It is important to note that the insurance card (with his name on it) was mysteriously found in the same safe (that he claimed to have never seen) that was found in the trunk (that he claimed he had never opened) of his own car. Based upon this discovery and the findings of the overall investigation, Mr. Bradley was charged with the following:
1) Possession of a Schedule II Drug for Resale (Crack Cocaine & Crystal Methamphetamine)
2) Simple Possession of a Schedule IV Drug (Xanax)
3) Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana)
4) Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia
5) Maintaining a Dwelling for the Use, Sale, Manufacturing, or Distribution of Narcotics
6) Speeding (59 mph in a 35 mph zone)
7) No Driver License
8) Driving an Unregistered Vehicle
9) Failure to Comply with Financial Responsibility (No Insurance)
He has since been released after posting a $9,000 bond as set by the presiding magistrate.