Lee County authorities arrest S.C. duo transporting "huge amount" of Oxycontin

Rain Smith • Jan 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A South Carolina man and woman have been arrested for transporting "a huge amount" of Oxycontin into Lee County, Va.

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, officers seized 594 pills, along with guns and cash.

Police say they used a Lee County resident as an informant. This individual called the South Carolina duo, asking them to deliver 200 Oxycontin pills into the county.

Sheriff Gary Parsons says the pair tried to be cautious in making drug sales. When they met with the Lee County informant to view the money, they said the pills had been left at Scott County's Traveler's Inn .

According to Parsons, the duo were concerned the deal was "shady," and thought they could go to another jurisdiction to safely complete the transaction.

"They didn't realize I have officers sworn on both the state and federal level, as well as ATF officers, accompanying us," Parson said.

Once at the Traveler's Inn in Duffield, the deal was completed in the parking lot. Officers seized pills and money -- totaling $8,500 in cash -- as well as two handguns.

Virgil Leister, 46, of Travelers Rest, S.C., and Amelia Turner, 65, of Landrum, S.C., were arrested. They are charged with transporting a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance into Virginia, and conspiracy to transport.

Instead of the 200 Oxycontin they had agreed to sell to the informant, 594 were in their possession. Turner is held on a $10,000 secured bond and Leister on a $20,000 secured bond.

Additional charges may be coming in the case, as Parsons says other individuals in Lee County, the surrounding areas and other states were involved. The case will be presented for prosecution to the United States Attorney's Office in Abingdon, Va.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos