Hawkins Co. Sheriff: Washington Co. couple arrested after pill press operation discovered


Photos: Chelsea Isbell (left) and Elliot Shaw (right). Courtesy of Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Washington County, Tennessee couple was arrested Thursday after Hawkins County deputies discovered a pharmaceutical pill press, paraphernalia and tablets.

According to a release from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Elliot Shaw and Chelsea Isbell were arrested around 5:30 p.m. Thursday after a deputy was sent to an abandoned vehicle at the intersection of Phipps Bend Road and Main Street in Surgoinsville.

The deputy found Shaw and Isbell in the vehicle. They told the deputy they had run out of gas.

The release says both Shaw, 28 of Johnson City, and Isbell, 29 of Gray, appeared to be under the influence during the interaction.

HCSO reports that the deputy saw a pistol in plain view inside the vehicle.

It was discovered that Shaw was a convicted felon out of North Carolina for prostitution, and Isbell was a convicted felon out of Tennessee for auto burglary.

The release says the following items were found in the vehicle:

  • Pharmaceutical pill press
  • Pill binder products
  • Grinders
  • Respirator
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Unknown white powders
  • Container of white tablets appearing to be Xanax bars

HCSO’s Narcotics Division was requested “due to the operation being a possible clandestine fentanyl laboratory.”

The release says samples were taken from the found items and sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to determine if fentanyl was present. Results are pending.

Shaw and Isbell were both charged with manufacture of Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

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