A charge of trespassing at the Sweetwater Walmart led to a chase through Sweetwater and ended with a surprising discovery at the Monroe County Jail.
Sweetwater Police Chris Corona said he went to the store at 11 p.m. and saw several employees standing outside the store and pointing at a green Pontiac Grand Prix that was driving through the parking lot.
Corona said he turned on his lights and siren in an attempt to stop the car, but the driver instead left the parking lot and turned right on Highway 11, heading into town.
Corona said he told the car to stop over his loudspeaker, but the driver kept going, turning onto New Highway 68 where Corona and Officer Jarren Turpeinen tried to box the car in, but was unsuccessful.
Corona said he then got in front of the car in an attempt to slow it down, but the driver, later identified as Ashley Buckner, passed him, forcing cars coming the other way to get off the road.
Corona said he sped up, got a distance past Buckner and hurriedly dispatched his stop sticks, which Buckner then hit and Corona and deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were able to box Buckner in.
Despite being stopped, Corona said Buckner refused to get out of the car and officers had to forcibly remove her.
In the car, officers allegedly found two glass smoking pipes and several baggies.
After she was taken to the jail, Corona said a search of Buckner turned up a brown powder hidden in her pelvic region. Buckner told the deputies the powder was heroin.
Buckner, 33, of Kelly Lane, Lenoir City, was charged with possession of heroin, evading arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, reckless driving, criminal trespassing and failure to render due care.
Buckner also faces charges of shoplifting and criminal trespassing by Madisonville Police in connection with an incident at the Madisonville Walmart where she allegedly went into the store, put a bunch of items in a buggy and returned them without ever buying them.