CCSO: Four arrested after officer sees passing of glass pipe


Four people are facing charges after a Carter County deputy spotted three of them passing a glass pipe in a vehicle.

According to a police report, the deputy was at the traffic light at Elizabethton Highway and West Elk Avenue on Monday afternoon.

The deputy wrote that while waiting on the light to change, he spotted a silver Chevrolet sedan containing six passengers.

He then saw three of the people in the backseat, later identified as Nicole Baumgardner, 27, of Elizabethton; Tessia Leonard, 20, or Bluff City; and William Gowin, 24, or Bluff City, passing a glass smoking device. The officer stated he saw them using a lighter to heat the bubble end of the device and observed them to be inhaling from the pipe.

According to the report, the deputy then pulled the vehicle over.

The driver, Gregory Hicks, 33, of Elizabethton, was discovered to have a revoked driver’s license due to a DUI conviction.

The deputy reported he advised all subjects of their Miranda Rights before Gowin, Leonard and Baumgardner all admitted to using methamphetamine.

Baumgardner told the officer she hid the pipe he had spotted them passing in the rear floorboard of the vehicle. After further questioning, Leonard admitted that she was in possession of meth that was hidden in her body. Upon request, Leonard removed a small bag containing an undetermined quantity of methamphetamine.

Gowin, Leonard and Baumgardener are charged with Possession of Schedule II and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Hicks was charged with driving on a revoked license.

All four were taken to the Carter County Jail.

The other two passengers were released without charges.

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