Authorities in northeast Tennessee have arrested a man they say stashed painkillers in his 5-year-old niece's pants pocket.

Hawkins County Sheriff's investigators arrested 28-year-old Dickie Lynn Keirsey, who police said lives with the child's family.

The Kingsport Times reported Surgoinsville Elementary School principal Susan Trent said the kindergartner felt inside her pants pocket Friday morning and found a bag with 23 Oxycontin pills. As she walked into her classroom, she handed them to her teacher.

Investigators said Keirsey said in a written statement he hid the pills when the pants hung on a clothes rack Thursday.

He is charged with possession of narcotics and reckless endangerment and is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 9.