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26 indicted in drug probe
Eight-month undercover probe nets 72 charges
Martinsville Police Capt. Eddie Cassady, standing outside the Martinsville Police Department on Tuesday, discusses the arrests being made in an undercover drug investigation. Behind him, city and Henry County vehicles bring suspects in for processing. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
An eight-month undercover drug operation that focused on areas of Martinsville resulted in the indictments of 26 people on 72 drug-related charges, according to Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers.
The investigation that ended in March “was very successful,” Rogers said.
Seventeen of the 26 people named in the drug indictments that were sealed Monday had been arrested by late Tuesday afternoon, and Rogers said he anticipated that number would increase.
Those arrested include:
• Sherry Denise Woody, 38, 736 Stultz Road, Martinsville, two counts each distribute hydrocodone and conspiracy to distribute hydrocodone, and one count each distribute Alprazolam and one count conspiracy to distribute Alprazolam, April 19, 2012, and May 16, 2012.
• Edward Junior Martin, 57, 1224 Top St., Martinsville, two counts distribute hydrocodone Sept. 12 and Oct. 18.
• Bobby Eugene Dillard, 57, 736 Stultz Road, Martinsville, four counts distribute hydrocodone, two counts conspiracy to distribute hydrocodone, and one count each distribute Alprazolam and conspiracy to distribute Alprazolam, February through May, 2012.
• Samuel Atkins Jr., 76, 732 Indian Trail, Martinsville, four counts prescription fraud, October 2012 through January.
• Timothy Lamont Mitchell, 45, 1400 Roundabout Road, Martinsville, three counts distribute cocaine, second offense, October and November.
• Maurice Danta Hamilton, 28, 1101 Mountain Road, Martinsville, felony distribute marijuana, June 18, 2010.
• Ronnie Flenory Harris, 48, 111 Lincoln St., Martinsville, two counts distribute cocaine, one count conspiracy to distribute cocaine, Dec. 27.
• Trevor Lorenzo Shelton, 45, 705 Carter St., Martinsville, three counts felony distribute cocaine second offense, Jan. 16.
• William Jerome Shelton, 50, 412 Fayette St., Martinsville, seven counts distribute cocaine, one count conspiracy to distribute cocaine, one count possess firearm with cocaine, December and January.
• Jerri Jean Dehart, 43, 69 Gretchen Trail, Martinsville, felony possess cocaine, June 14.
• Nicolas Consonio Tinsley, 36, 846 New York Ave., Martinsville, two counts distribute cocaine second offense, Jan. 19, 2012, and Feb. 28.
• Stephanie Palmer Stanley, 38, 133 Lawndale Road, Bassett, two counts distribute hydromorphone, one count distribute methadone, August and September 2012.
• Tammy Lynn Rose, 35, 404 Bassett Heights Road, Bassett, two counts distribute oxycodone, one count distribute dihydrocodeinone, April 2012 and May 2012.
• Demarcus Orlando Walker, 33, 4 Aaron St., Martinsville, two counts distribute cocaine third offense, Dec. 7 and Jan. 7.
• Derrick Lamont Brown, 56, 116 Sellers St., Martinsville, distribute methadone, Jan. 31.
• Alan MacQueen Richardson, 48, 1059 Graves St., Martinsville, possess with intent to distribute marijuana, June 27.
• Lisa Annette Cassell, 48, 1871 Dillons Fork Road, Fieldale, two counts distribute oxycodone, Nov. 5, and Dec. 12, 2012.
Other names will be released as arrests are made.
An indictment does not indicate guilt. It is a grand jury’s determination that there is enough evidence to hold a trial.
During the investigation that started in August, Rogers said undercover officers bought crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, untaxed alcohol and prescription pills (Schedule II and Schedule III) in areas of Commonwealth Boulevard, Fayette Street, Askin Street, Clearview Drive and Starling Avenue.
The investigation focused on those areas mainly due to complaints from residents about illegal drug activity/sales, he said in a release.
The Starling Avenue locations included: Virginia, Forest, Carter and Aaron streets; Fayette Street locations included: Lincoln, Top, Spencer, Beaver, Second, Sellers and B streets as well as Armstead Avenue, Roundabout Road, and Pinehall Road, according to a release.
Locations of Clearview Drive included Royal Drive and Roselawn Heights, the release stated.
Rogers said the undercover drug work “reflects our ongoing efforts to address the crime and drug problems in our community.”
Besides the police department, several other agencies were involved in the investigation and/or arrests, including the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police and Virginia ABC officers as well as the Patrick and Franklin county sheriff’s offices, according to Rogers and Martinsville Police Capt. Eddie Cassady.
Lead investigators in Martinsville were Lt. Mike Pace and investigators Dawn Vaughn, Greg Johnson and Sandy Hines, who also serves with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and ATF agent Mike Cilento, Rogers said.
Some undercover drug work that began as a result of the investigation that ended in March is continuing, and Rogers said he hopes that another large-scale operation could begin by late summer/early fall.
“Our department has consistently conducted long-term undercover drug investigations,” he said. “One of the most devastating things that can happen to a person is to get hooked on drugs,” and because of that, “we have always placed a high priority on arresting those who are distributing drugs.”
“Our past aggressive efforts and continued commitment” to finding and charging dealers has “contributed toward the decrease in crimes that we have seen in the city. ... I feel very confident of that,” the chief added.