A report of a suspicious vehicle Wednesday morning led to the arrest of a Clinton woman suspected of stealing mail.
Just after 8 am Wednesday, deputies were notified of a suspicious vehicle in the 100 block of Beets Valley Road and when Deputy Adam Warren arrived, he came across a Chevy pickup parked partially in the roadway. Warren reported that as he approached the vehicle he noticed several pieces of mail in the grass on the driver’s die of the pickup, which was occupied by a sleeping woman.
Deputy Warren knocked on the window and woke up the sleeping woman, identified as 32-year-old Tina May Carroll of Clinton. Warren reported she had a “large amount of US mail in her lap.” Aware of several recent thefts from mailboxes in the area, he detained Carroll while he investigated, informing her of her rights and asking for permission to search her truck. She consented to the search and told the deputy that she had taken some mail from mailboxes on Beets Valley “in order to start a fire because she was cold,” according to the report from the Sheriff’s Office. When asked about her drug habits, she reportedly told Warren that she used meth.
Inside the truck, deputies found approximately 150 pieces of mail from over 40 addresses in the Clinton, Rocky Top and Caryville areas. Deputies also discovered drug paraphernalia including syringes, and 11 and-a-half Quillichew tablets, a schedule 2 narcotic intended for the treatment of ADHD.
The truck was towed from the scene and Carroll was transported to the jail, charged locally with theft, simple possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without a license, driving uninsured and a violation of the litter law.
As of this morning, Carroll remained in custody at the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $4000, but her troubles may be just beginning as, after she was taken into custody, dispatchers received a call from nearby Huckleberry Lane, where someone reported a large amount of mail in the roadway and in a ditch by the side of the road. Deputies collected those pieces of mail and turned them over to Postal Inspector Wallace Bowden, who indicated he will be seeking federal charges of mail tampering.