On June 25th at approximately 10 pm the Grundy County Sheriffs Office was dispatched to 522 & 527  Pickett Lake Road in Coalmont after 3 complaint calls to Mountain Central Dispatch Office.  In addition, on February the 10th Mountain Central had also received a TEXT – A - TIP on the same location indicating “underage drinking and illegal substances”.
 Upon arrival Sheriffs Deputies found a youth party in progress at the 2 locations. Teenagers and other underage adults scattered when Sheriff Deputies arrived. Eventually all the youth were rounded up by Sheriffs Deputies and sorted out. Beer cans littered the property, and empty mason jars believed to have contained moonshine were found at one residence.  During the search of the property and surrounding properties for the youth, Sheriffs Deputies discovered Marijuana being cultivated.
All the youth were given field sobriety tests by Deputies, indicating that several of them were intoxicated. Parents of minors were called to come pick up their teens and the underage adults were interviewed. The owner of the property at 522 & 527 Picket Lake Road is Baily A. Pickett . He was not present at the time, however one of the residents, Gage Dodson was there, and admitted to being responsible for the party. Sheriffs Deputies determined that Gage Dodson was highly intoxicated. Another underage adult admitted to buying alcohol for the party. Several of the youth admitted to drinking. Grundy County Sheriff Office issued arrest warrants for  Gage Dodson,  on charges of enticing a child to purchase alcoholic beverages and / or purchasing alcoholic beverages for a child TCA CODE 39-15-404b Tennessee “Social Hosting Law” .  Jonathan Northcutt, and Dustin Crisp on charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor under TCA 37-1-156.  They were booked into the Grundy County Jail and will have to appear in General Sessions Court. Aaron S. Green was charged with underage consumption TCA 39-11-114.  All nine of the minors will be petitioned into Juvenile Court also.
The Grundy Safe Communities Coalition has been heading up a year long campaign to raise awareness within Grundy County of Tennessee’s Social Hosting Laws that were put into effect in 2009, with their “PARENTS WHO HOST LOSE THE MOST” campaign. Campaign efforts include: billboards, public service announcements and TV commercials with Grundy County’s Sheriff Brent Myers, Judge Trey Anderson, and District Attorney Steve Strain. The social hosting commercials are geared to warn parents and underage adults of the consequences of hosting underage drinking parties. The Social Hosting Laws provide severe criminal and civil penalties. If convicted, one could face up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine. Civilly, if a teenager is injured or injures someone else,  parents can sue the parents hosting the party. Also underage drinking has many negative health related consequences, such as negative brain development, depression, and teens are ten times more likely to develop substance abuse problems if they start drinking before 21.

On November 1st of last year the Grundy Safe Communities Coalition held a meeting with Judge  Trey Anderson and the Juvenile Court Office, District Attorney Dave McGovern, Grundy County Chief Deputy Scott Hampton,  Monteagle Police Chief Virgil McNeece and Tracy City Police Chief Warren Walker, State Probation Office Rebecca Meeks-Parker. The Coalition brought in Rutherford County’s CADCOR Coalition Director Richard Watson to help lead the discussion. Those that were present at the meeting agreed to support the Coalitions campaign  and the Social Hosting Laws.

Jonathan Northcutt

Gage Dodson

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