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Kingsport man admits to tossing gun and meth off bridge during Hawkins chase

Jeff Bobo • Dec 19, 2018 at 8:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Kingsport man who led Hawkins County deputies on a high speed chase the full length of Goshen Valley Friday allegedly admitted to tossing a handgun and 1-2 ounces of meth off the Holston River bridge.

Durign a drug investigation Friday HCSO Deputy Wesley Seals reportedly observed John Vance Bowers driving a maroon Mazda truck on Van Hill Road in the Beech Creek community.

Seals knew Bowers, 42, 505 Clarmont Road, Kingsport, had a revoked driver's license, and the tag on the truck also belonged to another vehicle.

When Seals attempted a traffic stop, Bowers allegedly ran the stop sign and fled west on Beech Creek Road, passing slower cars in the wrong lane of traffic.

Bowers then turned east on Goshen Valley Road where he led police on a pursuit traveling 80 mph in a 40 mph zone.

Seals stated in his report that upon reaching the Goshen Valley Road bridge over the Holston River in Church Hill he observed Bowers toss a handgun and white bag about the size of a baseball into the river.

Bowers subsequently crashed at the 11-W intersection and was arrested following a brief foot chase.

HCSO K-9 Unit "Bak" reportedly alerted on Bowers' pickup, and 3.3 ounces of marijauna was recovered, along with 17 Clonazepam pills and 3 Buprenorphine pills.

Bowers also had $5,550 in cash in his possession.

Upon being interviewed at the Hawkins County Jail following is arrest Bowers allegedly admitted that his cash was the proceeds from marijuana and meth sales, and that he'd tossed 1-2 ounces of meth and a Taurus 9 mm pistol into the river during the high speed chase.

Bowers was arraigned Monday on charges including felony evading arrest, possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence, two counts of simple possession, driving on a revoked license second offense, registration violation, stop sign violation, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and no insurance.

He was released from the Hawkins County Jail on $100,000 bond, and is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court again Jan. 7.

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