Three people were arrested Nov. 5 after a chase that started on a motorcycle a few days earlier ended near a trailer park just outside of Sweetwater.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Agent James Wall said on Oct. 27 he and other officers responded to Knob Road after a GPS signal showed a stolen car was in the area. When they arrived in the area, a man ran from a house and took off on a motorcycle.
Wall said the man appeared to be Samuel Anthony Willhite who had a failure to appear warrant out for his arrest. Wall said they chased the motorcycle into Loudon County and back into Monroe, at speeds reaching 130 mph, before terminating the chase for the safety of the motorcycle rider.
When they returned to the house on Knob Road, they talked to witnesses who said the man on the motorcycle was indeed Willhite.
On Nov. 5, Wall said he and two other officers were on Cedar Valley Road near Sweetwater when they saw a Honda Civic with a license tag that had expired in September of 2020.
Wall said he turned on his lights to stop the car, but the driver fled down a driveway, smashed through a cattle gate, went through a trailer park, drove onto Cedar Valley Road, then onto Upton Road where he drove into a yard, then back onto Upton Road before crashing in a yard on Upton Road.
Wall said the driver got out of the car, attempted to run, but was quickly caught by officers. Wall said he was identified as Willhite. There were also two passengers in the car.
Wall said a search of the car turned up 20 grams of suspected meth, 30 grams of suspected marijuana, three Alprazolam pills, digital scales, a meth pipe, and two baggies.
Wall said there was also a stolen chainsaw found in the car.
The two passengers in the car were Jasmeen Moreno and Justin Jarka. Wall said both had been told not to be around Willhite as there was a warrant for his arrest.
All three were taken to the Monroe County Jail where Moreno gave consent for her phone to be looked at. Wall reportedly found messages where Moreno had said she’d tell Christopher Goodman to pick up Willhite after the motorcycle chase.
Willhite, 19, Knob Road, Knoxville, was charged with felony evading arrest, possession of meth for resale, simple possession of Alprazolam, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jarka, 22, Knob Road, Vonore, and Moreno, 20, same address, are both charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Wall said he would also be seeking the same charge against Goodman.