Police tell us that in late February, a Carter County man threatened to shoot a deputy sheriff if he ever saw him again. The comment was made via Facebook on WCYB.com, in response to a story about 20 drug-related indictments handed down in Bristol, Virginia around February 26.
A police report obtained from the Carter County Sheriff's Office says Dustin Caleb Potter wrote:
"I'm still getting followed around and if I catch that pig that was goin thru my baby mamas trash like a ful stick i got that ak47 n i will touchem up."
WCYB informed the Bristol, Virginia Police Department of the post, and they took things from there.
"We had an alias of a person in Bristol, Virginia that used that name," says Major Sean Carrigan. "So we thought we had someone local, so we did some digging first here and then when we realized that Dustin Potter was a resident of the Carter County area. We contacted the Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff's Office to make them aware that we had viewed what we considered a credible threat to harm a law enforcement officer."
Dustin Potter had used his personal Facebook account to make the alleged threat, and the Bristol PD matched his profile picture to a mug shot from a previous incident. Potter had been arrested in Carter County on February 13 on charges of Promotion of Methamphetamine Manufacture.
Potter was located at Zoomer's gas station, less than a mile from the Carter County Sheriff's Office, just after 3 a.m. last Thursday.
"We don't tolerate any kind of threat or harassment from anybody towards an officer here at the sheriffs department," Hamm told us. "We're just not going to tolerate it."
Sgt. Hamm was in on Potter's arrest, as was the deputy Potter threatened.
Both the Bristol Police and Carter County Sheriff's Office tell us they take this kind of thing very seriously, and even though the threat was made online neither department was going to waste time. "The threat he made is actually considered a deadly threat," Hamm said. "In his words, he stated he was going to shoot my officer."
The officer who arrested Potter earlier ended up at Potter's girlfriend's house investigating a report of smoke in a trash can. That incident, we're told, also lead to the threat.
Potter is in jail on a $50,000 bond. He's charged with retaliation for past action, a Class E felony. He could face up to three years in jail.