GATE CITY — Three more people were arrested this week as part of Scott County's ongoing "Shamrock Shakedown" drug roundup.
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According to the Scott County Sheriff's Office and Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, all three suspects were taken into custody Monday. The arrests brought the total number of suspects apprehended to 43 since the operation began March 17.
James Marion McMurray, 47, of Weber City, was charged with two counts of distribution of Schedule III drugs.
Damon Jay Rash, 49, of Jonesville, was charged with a single count each of distribution of Schedule I or II drugs and distribution of drugs near school grounds.
Marshall Wayne Baldwin, 29, of Kingsport, faces charges of distribution of Schedule III drugs and distribution of drugs near school grounds.
Additional arrests stemming from the operation are pending, authorities said.
Baldwin, McMurray and Rash were all arraigned Wednesday morning in Scott County Circuit Court. The men were among 59 people indicted on 218 drugrelated charges March 13 by a Scott County grand jury. Those indictments were sealed pending arrest.
The Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said the roundup was the second largest law enforcement has carried out in the county. The largest, Operation Drug Blitz, sought the arrests of 63 suspects in 2005.
Last Thursday, 40 of the 59 individuals sought were arraigned in Scott County court on a total of 160 charges. Their indictments were also unsealed.
The charges were brought after a year-long joint investigation carried out by the Scott County Sheriff's Office, the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, the Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office also participated.