JONESVILLE — Nearly three dozen individuals were arrested Tuesday as local, state and federal authorities fanned out across Lee County to conduct a large-scale roundup of drug suspects.
Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons said officers set out at 7 a.m. to begin making arrests of 50 people who were either indicted earlier this month on state charges or wanted by federal authorities.
“It’s been pretty peaceful,” Parsons said. “It was a rainy morning, and they all were in bed, so it went pretty well.”
Of those 50 suspects, Parsons said 44 were wanted on state charges.
Parsons said that Tuesday’s operation was the first roundup conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in over a year.
Parsons said the vast majority of the indictments were the result of controlled buys and other evidence collected during investigations carried out by the LCSO.
While most of the state charges were related to prescription drugs, Parsons said there were a growing number of indictments for methamphetamine-related offenses.
The federal charges were the result of indictments handed down on six Stickleyville residents earlier this month.
Those charges came from a joint investigation carried out by Lee County authorities and federal agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, Parsons said.
The Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and the U.S. Marshals Service also assisted the LSCO Tuesday.
“When we work together and coordinate as a team, we are able to accomplish so much more and increase the efficiency of our work,” Parsons said. “A lot of work has gone into making these cases, and I thank every officer that has contributed in any way.”
The identities of those facing federal charges were not immediately released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Parsons said federal agents also helped Lee County officers conduct a search warrant Tuesday morning at the Stickleyville residence of Jack McCann.
Several of the arrests in Stickelyville were related to the dealings of ex-Pennington Gap Police Chief Bryan Young, Parsons said.
“Several of those people arrested there were involved with the former police chief as far as distribution in that area and conspiracy to distribute,” Parsons said. “It wasn’t all of them, but several of them were in his circle.”
Young was convicted in federal court earlier this year of distributing prescription drugs and coordinating a pharmacy burglary in Pennington Gap.
Parsons said those arrested are being held on various bond amounts depending on their charges and prior criminal history. Arraignments for those taken into custody are expected to happen Wednesday or Thursday in Lee County Circuit Court.
The following were arrested during Tuesday’s roundup:
• Terry Dean Harber, 45, St. Charles, distribution of a Schedule I or II drug• Jeffery Allen Deirth, 45, Pennington Gap, selling a Schedule I or II drug• Bridget Nicole Spurlock, 24, Ewing, manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture• Deborah Sue Smith, 67, Pennington Gap, three counts of distribution of Schedule III drugs• Tina Marie Wilson, 36, Ewing, manufacturing a controlled substance• Thomas Lee Coomer, 21, Pennington Gap, selling Schedule III drugs• Ashley Nicole Biggs, 23, Jonesville, two counts of distributing Schedule III drugs, distribution of Schedule I or II drugs, conspiracy to sell Schedule I or II drugs• Shanna Caroline Woodard, 28, St. Charles, three counts of manufacturing a controlled substance• Melvin Thomas Coomer, 43, Jonesville, conspiracy to sell Schedule III drugs, distribution of Schedule III drugs• Adam Ryan McAlister, 27, Jonesville, obtain prescription by fraud, possession of Schedule III drugs• Charles Edward Delph, 32, Rose Hill, violation of probation for a felony offense• Christopher Wayne Gibson, 33, Pennington Gap, two counts of providing Schedule I or II drugs for resale• James Barry McConnell, 52, Rose Hill, possession of Schedule I or II drugs, conspiracy to possess Schedule I or II drugs, distribution of between 100 and 200 grams of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of precursor to manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess precursor• Anthony Johnson, 45, Pennington Gap, distribution of a Schedule III drug• William Barnes, 29, Ewing, two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine• Charles Sparks, 59, Ewing, two counts of distribution of a Schedule III drug• Earl Eldridge, 26, Jonesville, distribution of a Schedule III drug, two counts of distribution of a Schedule I or II drug, two counts of conspiracy to distribute a Schedule I or II drug• Stoney James Bailey, 22, Rose Hill, distribution of Schedule III drug (non-steroid), failure to appear, contempt, attachment of the body• John Henry King, Jr., 38, Pennington Gap, distribution of Schedule III drug (non-steroid), manufacturing a Schedule VI drug for distribution• Derek Kasey McPherson, 26, Dryden, manufacturing a controlled substance• Angela Coomer, 40, Pennington Gap, distribution of a Schedule III drug• Richard Gruebel, 49, Jonesville, failure to appear• Robin Brown, 30, Rose Hill, failure to appear• Carolyn Ann Dixon, 55, Jonesville, distribution of Schedule III drugs• Kyle Adams Parsons, 21, Pennington Gap, manufacturing a controlled substance• Melissa Suzanne Parsons, 43, Pennington Gap, three counts of manufacturing a controlled substance• Lisa Kay Melear, 47, Jonesville, manufacturing a controlled substance• Virginia Lou Walker, 36, Rose Hill, attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of precursors, two counts of conspiracy• Johnny Wilce McConnell, 44, Rose Hill, possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possession of precursors, five counts of conspiracy, attempt to manufacture methamphetamine• Jeremy Austin Cox, 34, Jonesville, distribution of Schedule III drugs• Willie Mae Turner, 36, Pennington Gap, two counts of distribution of Schedule III drugs• Kelly Nicole King, 25, Pennington Gap, provide Schedule I or II drug for resale, child abuse• Danny Wayne Ridings, 54, Pennington Gap, selling Schedule I or II drugs.• Timothy Jerome King, 31, Ben Hur, two counts of distribution of a Schedule III drug• Linda Collins Jones, 38, Rose Hill, distribution of a Schedule III drug• Robert Glenn Whitt, Jr., 65, Jonesville, distribution of marijuana
JONESVILLE — Local, state and federal authorities fanned out across Lee County this morning to begin making arrests as part of a large-scale narcotics roundup.
Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons said officers were attempting to arrest a total of 50 suspects. That number includes 44 individuals wanted on state charges and another six wanted on federal charges.
Parsons said the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the US Marshals Service, and the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia are assisting the Lee County Sheriff's Office in the operation.
Parsons said he expects to release more information on the arrests this afternoon.
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