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Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris

Bledsoe County (Tenn.) Sheriff Jimmy Morris on Saturday jailed his own 26-year-old son on methamphetamine, manufacturing, drug paraphernalia, gun and assault charges.

James Michael Morris was found with 11.1 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a loaded weapon when officers raided his Upper East Valley Road home on March 12.

He was booked on charges of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, methamphetamine, manufacturing/selling of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony, and assault. The younger Morris is being held without bond until a bond hearing that could be held today, according to officials.

"You know, he's my son. But when it comes to the law, he's no different than anyone else," Morris said Thursday.

The sheriff said he accompanied deputies when they went to his son's home but stayed back to allow them to do their jobs unfettered.

Morris said he has tried to make it a point to speak to young men in Bledsoe County when he heard one of them was having problems "to try to get them on the right side of life."

Then his own son needed that talk.

"I went to my son, personally, nine months ago and sat down and talked to him," Morris said. "I'd been watching him for nine months to a year, and it all came into play and it finally got him busted."

The sheriff said he had been suspicious something was wrong for a while.

"You notice changes in anybody when drugs become part of their life, whether it's pills, meth or whatever their drug of choice may be," he said.

Morris said his son and others who face drug problems can rise above them with support from their families.

"The biggest thing for a family or a father or mother is to take it upon themselves to admit that they have a problem," he said. Parents and families should resist the impulse to deny a problem or to try to hide it, he said.

"I think he's a good young man and he always has been a good young man till he let drugs get to be a part of his life," the sheriff said. "I don't think this is anything him or anyone else can't overcome in life. Everybody makes mistakes, and he's not the first and he sure won't be the last."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

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