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27 convictions handed down so far in Lee County drug roundup

July 23rd, 2014 8:00 pm by Wes Bunch

27 convictions handed down so far in Lee County drug roundup

JONESVILLE — The Lee County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said this week that it has secured convictions for nearly 80 percent of the people who were indicted earlier this year as part of a large-scale drug roundup.

Lee County Commonwealth's Attorney Shawn Hines said his office has so far obtained convictions for 27 of the 36 individuals indicted by the March grand jury. Hines said the 27 defendants convicted so far accounted for 72 felony drug offenses.

Hines said two of the remaining defendants are awaiting trial in August 2014, while another is awaiting the results of a mental competency evaluation. Three others are considered fugitives, while one suspect had their charges dropped after a witness failed to appear for trial.

Hines said only one of the 27 defendants — David Michael Howard, 55, Dryden — took his case before a jury. Howard was convicted of distribution of a Schedule III controlled substance.

While several cases took four months to prosecute, Hines said the majority were handled within two months of the indictments being returned.

Hines also credited the work and cooperation of the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and the Virginia State Police as playing a large role in the approximately 97 percent conviction rate resulting from the roundup.

"These drug cases involve a lot of man hours," Hines said. "Our drug officer spends hours out in the field day and night working informants to make drug buys. These cases were put together well and the results speak for themselves.

"We have convicted 97 percent of those defendants whose cases have come before the court at this point — and would have convicted 100 percent had the witness appeared for trial. That's a solid effort and good for the people of Lee County."

The following individuals have already been convicted and sentenced in Lee County Circuit Court:

  • Billy Bowen, 27, Duffield — manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine
  • Pamela Carder, 41, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Elisha Caudill, 25, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule II drugs
  • Truman Caudill, 50, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule II drugs
  • Justin Collinsworth, 30, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Billy Frank Crabtree, 52, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule II and III drugs
  • Daniel Crabtree, 26, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Michael Shane Cress, 48, Big Stone Gap — distribution of Schedule II drugs
  • Leonard O'Dell Deitz, 39, Dryden — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Boyd Dinsmore, 46, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Aaron Matthew Hall, 21, Dryden — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Billy Harber, 52, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule II drugs
  • Gary Keith Herron, 53, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • David Holmes, 35, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • David Michael Howard, 55, Dryden — distribution of Schedule II and III drugs
  • Heather Lawson, 23, Duffield — manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine
  • Jamie Lawson, 22, Pennington Gap — conspiracy to distribute Schedule III drugs
  • Darrell Martin, 53, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Rocky Overton, 44, Rose Hill — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Virginia Roberts, 38, Pennington — distribution of Schedule II and III drugs
  • Eddie Robinette, 50, Duffield — manufacture marijuana
  • Charles Skidmore, 62, Dryden — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Casey Smith, 41, St. Charles — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Shawn Stapleton, 30, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Priscilla Sturgill, 28, Pennington Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Angela Young, 39, Rose Hill — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Convicted but awaiting sentencing is:

  • Kristina Spears, 34, Big Stone Gap — Distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Individuals awaiting trial:

  • Garney Spears, 33, Big Stone Gap — distribution of Schedule III drugs
  • Scotty Ward, 37, Duffield — distribution of Schedule II drugs
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