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Local authorities working to UNRAVEL GRAVEL

Investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested a “major player” last week in what appears to be an increase in dealings with a synthetic drug commonly referred to as “gravel.”
”This is a new drug to our area,” Sheriff Ed Graybeal said during a press conference held Nov. 12 in Jonesborough. “It is coming from the Asia area. It’s very harsh. I’d say it is compared to meth (as far as) what it is going to do to the human body.”
Authorities arrested Amber Sue Ann McCurry, 24, last week after discovering approximately 64 grams of the substance believed to be gravel inside a residence investigators referred to as a “drug house” on Treadway Trail Road in Telford.
McCurry was one of four individuals at the residence when a call came in to 9-1-1 dispatchers on Nov. 10 from a person claiming she was being held against her will at the residence.
Authorities determined that the individual was not, in fact, being held against her will, but had been high on gravel, which reportedly causes extreme paranoia.
The resident of the home, Dyann Hale, 50, was already behind bars at the Washington County Detention Center at the time of the incident following her arrest on Nov. 7. Hale was pulled over for a registration violation and driving on a revoked license when officers found six individual bags of what is believed to be gravel in her vehicle.
Despite being behind bars, the woman somehow received word of the incident happening at her home and immediately requested to talk with authorities. According to WCSO investigators, Hale was cooperative and gave officers permission to search the residence.
Officers uncovered the $18,000 worth of gravel during that search as well as more than $2,000 in cash, several items used to smoke the drug and ledgers that McCurry reportedly used to track her sales of the drug.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is now involved in the investigation, which WCSO authorities believe is connected to another recent gravel bust at a motel in Sullivan County.
“It has just hit this area really hard. We’ve been told there may be a whole lot more of this being bought,”Graybeal said. “As fast as this thing is growing, it will be a pretty good investigation when this is over with.”
Authorities believe the gravel making its way to this area is being purchased over the Internet as well as through a source in Georgia.
While the investigation continues, Graybeal said he is also working to educate the public about the drug, which is the latest synthetic drug to infiltrate the area. Several others have been banned in Tennessee based on the ingredients used to make them. However, a simple change in ingredients can create a new synthetic drug that hasn’t crossed authorities’ radar, investigators said.
“We’re working hard on it to get the word out,” Graybeal said.
“This is something you don’t want to mess with.”