Lenoir City men charged with selling drugs in school zone

By: Melissa Kinton Monroe County On Line 02-19-2008

Ryan William Monger, 22, West Highway 70, Lenoir City, and Steven Matthew Rice, 23, Old Highway 95, Lenoir City, were both arrested and charged with sale and delivery of a Schedule II narcotic (cocaine) in a school zone and sale and delivery of a Schedule VI narcotic (marijuana) in a school zone.

Several Vonore police officers working with an undercover informant arranged to trade 100 placebo Oxycontin pills to Monger and Rice in exchange for one ounce of cocaine, five ounces of marijuana, cash and an SKS assault rifle. On Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m., the police officers, including Lt. Robby Lovingood, Detective Earl Long, School Resource Officer Mack Williams, Dean Norton and Matt Watson, met with the undercover informant, equipped the informant with a recording device, and gave the informant the fake pills. The informant was then driven to a parking lot on Highway 411 in Vonore where Monger and Rice arrived later.

Rice and the informant got out of their vehicles and walked to the back of Riceís vehicle. Rice opened the trunk and showed the informant the SKS assault rifle. Rice then gave the informant a plastic bag containing five smaller plastic bags containing about five ounces of marijuana. Rice also gave the informant a plastic bag containing approximately one ounce of cocaine.

The informant gave Rice a plastic bag containing the 100 placebo Oxycontin pills and asked Rice to get the money. Monger, who had been in Riceís vehicle during the trade, exited the vehicle and asked where the pills were as Rice was getting the cash from Monger. At that time, the police officers responded to the scene and took everyone in and around both vehicles into custody.

When police searched Rice and Mongerís vehicle, they found a cigarette box containing marijuana in the back seat, a plastic bag with a straw and razor blade in the back seat, and a Ruger P94 .40-caliber handgun in the front of the vehicle.

When Monger was searched, police found an additional $2,810 in cash on his person.