Mayor Up for Re-Election in Tennessee Arrested with Fake Pills and the Pill Press that Made Them

The Macon County Chronicle has reported that Red Boiling Springs mayor Joel Rae Coe has been arrested on drug trafficking charges after a year-long joint investigation between the Macon County Sheriff’s Department the Red Boiling Springs Police Department, the Lafayette Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

According to the Macon County Chronicle, the authorities initially made a raid on a residence in the Lafayette Landing Apartments on the basis of a tip.  A search of the property uncovered 3 bags of 10 milligram hydrocodone pills, one bag of 7.5 milligram hydrocodone pills, two bags of 10 milligram oxycodone pills, 154 morphine pills, and another 48 unidentifiable white pills.  A subsequent search of a property on Andrea Lane nearby revealed a pharmaceutical pill press and four pounds of a white powder that authorities believe is a fentanyl compound.

While conducting the search, Detective Shane Gregory was given consent to search a phone belonging to the person residing at Andrea Lane. The Macon County Chronicle reports that while the phone was in Detective Gregory’s custody, the mayor of Boiling Springs “began sending messages to the phone’s owner asking if he needed to get the pill press from the house and hide it from authorities.”

Gregory responded to Mayor Coe via text, and then the mayor offered to come by and pick up the pill press and hide it. When the mayor showed up at Andrea Lane, he was arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence, reports the Macon County Chronicle.

U.S. News and World Report notes that Coe remains on the ballot in Boiling Springs, due to how close the arrest was to Election Day.  As of April 27, unofficial election results show Coe losing his reelection campaign, coming in 3rd in a field of 4 candidates.