Broken headlight leads to drug arrest

COVINGTON - A broken headlight landed a Tennessee man in jail after police reported he had warrants for his arrest and drugs and guns in his vehicle.

According to a report from the Covington Police Department, an officer pulled a red 2002 Ford Ranger over on Alcovy Road about 11:15 p.m. on March 7 for an inoperative headlight. The driver, later identified as Gregory Neal Kestner of Blountville, Tenn., told the officer someone had backed into him earlier in the day, damaging the headlight.

A check of his Tennessee driver’s license found Kestner wanted in Tennessee on warrants for possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances are used or sold. Kestner was detained while authorities in Tennessee were contacted to determine if they would extradite him.

While they were waiting, the officer asked Kestner if his vehicle could be searched, and he allegedly gave consent.

A search of the truck allegedly found two handguns, ammunition, and a BB pistol. All three were checked and not reported stolen. The search also allegedly found plastic syringes, and a small bag of suspected marijuana.

Dispatched advised the officer that law enforcement in Tennessee had indicated they would extradite Kestner, and he was placed under arrest. During a search of Kestner, the officer allegedly found a small plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, a bag containing three peach-colored pills later identified as a prescription narcotic, and a bag containing a brown compacted substance believed to be heroin.

Kestner was transported to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center. He has been charged with trafficking of a controlled substance - heroin, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, possession of marijuana less than an ounce, drugs not kept in original container, possession of drug-related objects, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, and headlight violation.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.