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Traffic stop leads to drug seizure in Lee County

WALTER LITTRELL • Apr 5, 2007 at 6:09 AM

JONESVILLE - A Tuesday afternoon traffic stop led to big dividends for the Lee County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Gary Parsons said that his officers, acting on an informant's tip and surveillance, made a traffic stop in the Ben Hur section of the county. The vehicle was being driven by Michael Carl Cheek, 51, and his brother, Gregory Cheek, 57, both of Route 3, Box 10, Rose Hill, was a passenger in the vehicle.

Officers obtained consent to search the vehicle and the search revealed more than four ounces of what is believed to be marijuana hidden under the driver's seat.

Parsons said based on information obtained during the stop, along with observation from where the vehicle had traveled, his officers were able to obtain a search warrant for the 304 Oakwood Ave, Pennington Gap, residence of Allen David McFarland, 54.

Inside that residence, said the sheriff, officers found eight more ounces of suspected marijuana, four grams of what is believed to be hashish and $41,000 in cash hidden in a closet. Officers also seized six handguns and five long guns from the home.

The Cheeks were each charged with one count of possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Both were initially held on a $1,500 secured bond. Greg Cheek was arraigned Wednesday in Lee County General District Court and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 11. Michael Cheek will be arraigned on Monday in district court.

"We intend to consult with federal authorities to see if they are interested in taking the McFarland case because of so many different elements involved along with the firearms," said Parsons. "If they do not, indictments will be sought at a future sitting of a Lee County grand jury."

Parsons commended the work of his officers and urges anyone with information on illegal drug activity, or any other information about crime, to contact his office at 346-7777, or anonymous messages can be left on the TIPS line at 346-7706.

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