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Ten of 16 suspects indicted on cocaine charges arrested in Sullivan County

March 18th, 2009 12:00 am by Rain Smith






BLOUNTVILLE — Ten of 16 suspects indicted by a Sullivan County grand jury have been arrested on charges related to the sale of cocaine, counterfeit cocaine and prescription drugs.


Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said his officers received sealed indictments on the suspects in December. Anderson said their investigation was assisted by Bristol, Tenn., drug arrests occurring that same month, in which 39 people were indicted on more than 200 drug charges.


Sullivan County arrests were delayed until the past couple weeks, Anderson said, because his office was still gathering information on some of the suspects.


The suspects are from Bristol, Tenn.; Bristol, Va.; Kingsport; Bluff City; and Asheville, N.C.


At least six of those individuals are charged with the sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, which incurs stiffer penalties if convicted. Officials declined to identify those schools at this time, as it could jeopardize their investigations.


Through informants, buys and arrests, police seized 4 ounces of cocaine — valued at $10,000 — 100 Lortab, 15 OxyContin and 60 grams of marijuana.


Also seized was $6,000 in cash and four vehicles. Anderson said he expects more seizures related to the arrests at a later date, and possibly charges being placed against additional suspects.


“We’re not in it for the money. We’re in it for the arrests,” Anderson said.


As often is the case on drug arrests, Anderson said police rely on tips from the public. Sometimes those tipsters are neighbors alarmed by excess traffic in and out of a home.


At other times, information comes from friends or customers of the alleged drug dealers.


“All of the sudden they’re righteous and want to tell (police) they are selling cocaine, and I’m glad they do,” Anderson said.


Suspects who have been arrested so far and their charges are:


• Eric Eads, 34, 143 Valley Pike Road, Bristol, Tenn. Arrested March 13, Eads is charged with the sale of cocaine, sale and delivery of cocaine, and sale of a counterfeit controlled substance.


• Matthew Walker, 47, 200 McDowell St., Bristol, Tenn. Arrested March 10, Walker is charged with three counts of sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Robin Whitten, 44, 203 N. Paperville Road, Bristol, Tenn. Arrested Feb. 27, Whitten is charged with the sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Steve Duclair, 36, 29½ Sixth St., Bristol Tenn. Arrested March 10, Duclair is charged with the sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.


• Wendolyn Walden, 42, 143 Lilly St., Bristol, Tenn. Arrested March 11, Walden is charged with sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Joana Brooks, 32, 370 Emmett Road, Bristol, Tenn. Arrested March 10, Brooks is charged with two counts of sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.


• Richard Michaud, no street address or age provided, of Kingsport. Arrested March 11, Michaud is charged with the sale and delivery of Schedule III narcotics.


• Michael Hilton, no age or address provided. Arrested March 13, Hilton is charged with sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and three counts of sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Veronica Joy Scott, 44, 623 Cedar St. Extension, Bluff City. Arrested March 10, Scott is charged with three counts of delivery and sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.


• James T. Nichols, 29, 1372 Vance Tank Road, Lot 16, Bristol, Tenn. Currently incarcerated in New York, Nichols is charged with the sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and four counts of sale and delivery of cocaine.


Suspects who have yet to be apprehended by police and their charges are:


• John Henry McAlpin, 27, Asheville, N.C. Charged with three counts of the sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Eddie Allen Nichols, 39, Bristol, Tenn. Charged with theft under $500 and two counts of the sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Jessica Baker, 26, 1372 Vance Tank Road, Lot 16, Bristol, Tenn. Charged with the sale and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and four counts of sale and delivery of cocaine.


• Donte McCray, 24, no address provided. Charged with four counts of sale and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance.


• Bridgette Y. Young, 23, 1805 King College Road, Apartment C-12, Bristol, Tenn. Charged with two counts of selling a counterfeit controlled substance.


• Melissa Shaffer, 42, 101 Oakview Road, Apartment D-9, Bristol, Va. Charged with two counts of the sale and delivery of cocaine.


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