Charges for suspects after kids, drugs found in U-Haul in Cocke County, THP says

THP charged Lakiza Williams ,40, Eric Larue, 36, and Willie Green, Jr., 40 in a child abuse case. / Source: (Cocke County Sheriff's Office)
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COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced charges for three people following an incident that happened on July 10.

THP said three children were found in the back of a U-Haul on I-40 in Cocke County. On that day, THP said the outside temperature was 92 degrees.

Three adults from Hendersonville, NC are now facing charges.

According to the report, a bystander saw several small children being locked in the back of a U-Haul at the I-40 Welcome Center on Wednesday, July 10.

A THP trooper later stopped the vehicle on I-40 westbound at mile marker 431 in Cocke County. Officials said three children, all under the age of 8-years-old, were in the back of the truck.

According to the report, the trooper also noticed "a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the front of the truck."

THP said one of the passengers had a small amount of marijuana. According to the report, there was also crystal meth, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia in the front of the U-Haul.

Lakiza Williams, 40, was charged with three counts of child endangerment, two counts of possession of schedule II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Eric Larue, 36, was charged with three counts of child endangerment, no license law, lane law violation, seat belt violation, children not restrained violation and registration not carried.

Willie Green, Jr., 40, was charged with three counts of child endangerment and possession of schedule 6.

All three people were booked into the Cocke County jail, THP said.

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