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Scott County search turns up marijuana, weapons, moonshine still

Wes Bunch • Jan 5, 2013 at 9:11 AM

GATE CITY — A Manville man is facing gun and drug charges after Scott County authorities executed a search warrant on his residence earlier this week and allegedly found multiple weapons, a sizable amount of marijuana and a small moonshine still.

Leroy Darnell, 49, Clay Hollow Drive, Manville, is facing a total of six felony charges including possession of marijuana, possession of an illegal rifle, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a distilling device and possession of untaxed liquor.

Darnell was taken into custody Dec. 30 by members of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force.

Authorities reportedly began investigating Darnell after they received an anonymous tip that he had a large amount of drugs and several weapons at his Manville home.

After receiving the tip, narcotics investigators reportedly carried out several undercover buys from Darnell before obtaining a warrant to search his residence and a barnlike building located on his property.

While conducting the search, authorities allegedly found more than half a pound of marijuana hidden in an old, unused stove inside the barn. A small amount of Schedule III painkillers were also reportedly found during the course of the search.

Investigators also reportedly recovered a small, working moonshine still and a gallon of moonshine in the barn.

In addition to those items, authorities seized six firearms — including a .9mm assault rifle, a rifle with a cut barrel and stock, two shotguns and two more long rifles.

Authorities said two of the weapons were found in Darnell’s home, while the remaining guns were located inside the barn.

The gun with the cut barrel and stock was reportedly reduced to 14.5 inches in overall length, authorities said. Rifles are legally required to have an overall length of at least 26 inches.

Darnell reportedly cooperated with authorities during the raid and was taken into custody without incident.

After his arrest, Darnell was released on a $7,500 secured bond Sunday evening by a Scott County magistrate.

Darnell was arraigned Thursday during an appearance in Scott County Circuit Court.

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