HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Hawkins County man who reportedly told police he sold marijuana from his camper is facing multiple charges after authorities discovered children in the camper surrounded by trash and marijuana.

According to an arrest report from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), deputies responded to a camper along Highway 11W early Wednesday morning to check on the welfare of five children. The report states that deputies looked in the window of the camper and spotted three children on a couch asleep.

The camper was “filled with trash,” and the children were sleeping upright on the couch, according to the report.

The HCSO reports deputies knocked on the door and were allowed in by one of the children. Deputies say at that point, they began speaking with Joshua Hinkle, 32. The report states deputies had smelled marijuana as soon as they entered the camper.

Hinkle was reportedly asked if he had smoked marijuana, which he confirmed, stating that he had after the children went to bed. While speaking with Hinkle, deputies saw loose marijuana in a tray, TCH wax and a glass pipe, according to the report.

Photo: Marijuana and a gun found at the home of Joshua Hinkle, courtesy of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies placed Hinkle in handcuffs and found a gun — described by the HCSO as a semi-automatic pistol — on his person during a patdown, the report states. The gun’s serial number had reportedly been scratched off.

More marijuana totaling 4.34 ounces was found in the camper, along with ecstasy pills, baggies and scales.

After being read his Miranda Rights, Hinkle gave deputies a written confession, saying he sold marijuana from the camper and “uses marijuana openly around his children,” according to the report. Hinkle also reportedly told deputies that he knew he was a felon, but he carried the pistol for protection.

Hinkle was charged with the following:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Altering the serial number on a firearm
  • Sale/Delivery/Possession of Schedule 6 Drug
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Simple possession of Schedule 1 Drug
  • Maintaining a dwelling where drugs are sold

A release from the HCSO states that all five children in the camper were left with a relative after Hinkle’s arrest, and the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) was notified of the incident.