An investigative technique called a "Knock and Talk" led to two drug arrests in Murfreesboro. "Knock and Talk" is when one or more police officers approach a private residence, apartment or motel room, knocks on the door, and requests consent from the owner or renter to search the residence. In this case, 30-year old Austin Dale Welker answered the door of his third floor room at the Crestwood Inn and Suites. Police asked Welker if they could enter the room and he said, "Yes," according to a police arrest report. Police then asked if they could search the hotel room and Welker again replied in the affirmative.
On Welkers' side of the room Police found three vials of testosterone, a marijuana pipe, digital scales, a bottle of Oxymorphone and a bottle of Oxycodone. A police report shows that officers also found small plastic bags commonly used in narcotic transactions, according to the report on file at the MPD. Officer Sapp wrote, "I found a ledger written on a small yellow notepad with pill counts and priors along with profit margins."
As the search continued, police asked permission to look through text messages on Welker's cell phone. Permission was granted and police found text messages asking if he was able to meet with individuals to sell them pills.
The search later turned to the opposite side of the hotel room belonging 30-year old Erica Lyn Piatt where digital scales were found with a white powdery residue on them. 6-Methadone tablets were located, 10-Amphetamine tablets, a 9mm handgun and 3-glass pipes.
In the bathroom, police discovered half empty vial of testosterone. Officers then headed to the refrigerator in the room and found another vial of clear, unknown liquid. The liquid is being sent to the TBI crime labs to be identified. A bag of syringes was located under the hotel bed and another set of digital scales were found on the sofa.
Police arrested both Erica Piatt and Austin Welker. Welker was booked under a $10,500 bond. He was released on Wednesday. Piatt was booked on a $11,000 bond and she was released several hours after she was booked on Tuesday night. The duo will appear in court on June 25, 2015.
MPD Arrest Reports 15-8354 A, B