July 1, 2008 -
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Chas Terry the April Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Terry has been with the department since March 2005.
Chief Owen said that on April 22, 2008 at approximately 10:00 p.m., Officer Terry was conducting an auto burglary detail when he saw two suspicious persons sitting in a Ford Taurus without lights on in a parking lot of a bar in West Knoxville. Within minutes, a pickup truck entered the parking lot without its lights on and pulled alongside the Taurus. One of the occupants of the Taurus emerged from the vehicle and approached the truck and engaged in what was believed to have been an illegal drug transaction. Officer Terry called for a marked unit to conduct a traffic stop on the truck.
Chief Owen said, “The two occupants of the truck gave officers consent to search the vehicle which yielded an unmarked pill bottle containing 37 Hydrocodone tablets and a small amount of marijuana on the floor of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was found to be in possession of 67 Oxycontin pills and 26 baggies of powder cocaine that had a total weight of 11.8 grams.”
Upon further investigation, an additional 10 ounces of cocaine, 3 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of marijuana, .075 ounces of crack cocaine, a set of digital scales, and a .38 caliber pistol were recovered in the vehicle owner’s residence. The continuing investigation resulted in the identification of the drug supplier.
Chief Owen said, “The suspect was apprehended without incident on April 29, 2008 near a north Knoxville convenient store. The suspect, Jay Wallace Ross (DOB 12-30-80), had been on the run from authorities for four years. He also had a Fugitive from Justice Warrant for his arrest from the U.S. Marshall’s Service. At one time, Ross was the most wanted fugitive in the state of Ohio.”
During the interview with Ross, he led officers to a storage building where an additional 1,022 grams of cocaine was located. In addition to the cocaine, 9 weapons were seized including:
Ruger 22/40 handgun
Peacekeeper .357 revolver
Alaska Pipeline .357 revolver
SKS 7.62x39 rifle
Bushmaster AR-15 .223 rifle with 3 clips
Glenfield Model 75 .22 caliber rifle
Mossberg Model 352K rifle
Marlin Model 60 .22 caliber rifle
Marlin/Glenfield Model 75 .22 caliber rifle
Ross has been charged federally with possession of over 500 grams of cocaine.
Chief Owen said, “Even though Officer Terry was on a special assignment to find vehicle burglary suspects, his drive, determination, and feel for the street led him to look closer at this suspicious activity. His attention to this action started the ball rolling that put an end to a major drug trafficking operation that reached coast to coast. Ultimately, Officer Terry’s actions brought into the hands of justice a federal fugitive that had been on the run for over four years.”
Mayor Haslam said, “Because of Officer Terry, numerous drugs and weapons have been removed from our streets. In addition, this fugitive will now be held accountable for his illegal actions. Congratulations Officer Terry on a job well done.”