Accused drug dealer offers samples to teens in Cocke County

NEWPORT, Tenn. (WVLT)- When you go through a McDonald's drive-thru, you're usually expecting to grab a bite to eat.

But, for two teens in Cocke County they got much more than that, a sample of illegal drugs.

"They told him, we don't mess with that kind of stuff," Chief of Newport Police, J. Maurice Shults says Nathaniel Coker, 54, is the one who passed out those samples.

He says Coker approached two guys in this parking lot, threw two pills of ecstasy at them, and told them if they liked it, he'd be back the next night.

The guys were not interested, so they called police.

"I think they were more shocked than anything that someone would come up and start talking about meth and then offer samples of ecstasy for them to try," says Shults.

He thinks Coker was trying to build a cliental in East Tennessee.

"Found an exit, got off to do a little business in the area, sell what he could sell and move on," he says.

He was traveling from Ohio with his mother when they found them both at a nearby hotel. Coker's mother cooperated with police and tells them she wasn't aware of the drugs.

But, ecstasy isn't a drug Newport Police deal with often.

"Ecstasy is rare, we do have some problems with bath salts but, pharmaceutical diversion is by far our biggest problem," he says.

"I worked 13 years in undercover narcotics and I never have seen anyone come and offer narcotics. They might let you try it if they're working a deal."

Coker is facing several charges for possession and selling drugs.

"Main thing is those samples are gone from the streets, no body is going to use them,"

Police say Coker was driving a silver car with a Colorado license place. Police were able to track him down with that description.


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