Harlan City Police Cpl. Jeff Owens said he was dispatched to the parking lot at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation (MCHC) at the Village Center Mall in Harlan on Friday, after a man reported he observed Justin Gilbert, 21 of Baxter, buying drugs from another person in a red vehicle.
Owens said a police dispatcher advised him that Gilbert was in a green Cavalier and it was parked in a fire lane in front of MCHC.
Upon arrival, Owens said he and Officer Will Pope made contact with Gilbert, who matched the description given, and he was asked to exit the vehicle.
Owens said he advised Gilbert of the complaint received and he denied any drug transaction had taken place and stated he had no illegal substances in his possession.
“Mr. Gilbert had bloodshot eyes and his speech was slurred,” said Owens. “He appeared to be under the influence. Considering there was a 3-year-old little boy in the vehicle with him, we asked him to step out of the vehicle so we could talk with him. I asked if he had anything on him that we needed to know about and Mr. Gilbert advised he didn’t.”
Owens said after Gilbert was asked to empty his pockets, he found two blue and white packages believed to be Suboxone strips.
“Mr. Gilbert advised he didn’t have a prescription for the Suboxone strips,” said Owens. “I then contacted the owner of the vehicle and she gave us full consent to search the vehicle. Upon completing our search of the vehicle, we found a pair of jeans under the seat, belonging to Mr. Gilbert, which contained two bags of a green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana, two hypodermic needles, 12 yellow-capsuled pills marked IP102, believed to be Neurontin, rolling papers and a lighter. A ripped Suboxone strip was found in the back floor board of the vehicle.”
Owens said the child in the vehicle was the son of the owner of the vehicle, who stated she was friends with Gilbert. Owens said the owner of the vehicle told him she had gone inside the clinic and left the child in Gilbert’s care. Owens said the owner of the vehicle was advised more charges could be pending after evidence is presented to the county attorney.
“At this time she is not wanted and not a suspect,” said Owens. “She gave us full cooperation in this matter.”
Gilbert was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center and charged with possession of marijuana, first offense of possession of drug paraphernalia, first offense of prescription controlled substance not in a proper container, illegal possession of a legend drug, third-degree possession of a controlled substance (unspecified) and public intoxication.
Assisting with the search was Harlan City Police Officer Will Pope.
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