WILLIAMSON — The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, along with officers from the Williamson, Gilbert and Delbarton Police Departments, gathered together at the Mingo County Courthouse early Thursday morning for a strategic planning session that was held prior to arresting defendants throughout the county that had been indicted on drug related charges.
Forty-one true bills were returned by the Mingo County Grand Jury on Wednesday, with seventeen of those being sealed drug indictments. A total of 10 defendants from those 17 were taken into custody on Thursday and a search is underway for others who are evading capture.
The officers were divided up into four groups that then made arrests in the Williamson, Chattaroy, Delbarton and Gilbert communities. Two defendants were taken into custody in Williamson that were indicted, plus an individual who was wanted on a warrant for drug trafficking.
Donald West, 45, of Victoria Courts in the East End of Williamson, was indicted on one count each of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone) and conspiracy to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone). He was taken into custody without incident at his apartment. Chad Nicholas Alley, 30, also of Victoria Courts, was not at home when officers arrived but was apprehended in a matter of minutes inside the Williamson Treatment Center. The defendant had been indicted on two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone).
Lawrence E. Wilkerson, Sr., of Vinson Street, was arrested on a warrant issued on charges of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Crack Cocaine) and possession with intent to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Crack Cocaine). The glass storm door on the residence had to be broken by the arresting officers in order to gain access inside, since the defendant refused to open the door. While being questioned by police, Wilkerson allegedly admitted to being in possession of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $300. The drugs were confiscated by officers with the Williamson Police Department (WPD) and the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD). One of the deputies suffered a minor laceration to his face during the arrest which resulted from the flying glass.
The group that conducted the above three arrests were WPD Lt. G.P. Dotson who served as team leader, Sgt. J. Spence, Patrolman J. Taylor and J. Marcum, Deputy B. Moore (K-9 Officer), Cpl. G. Messer and Deputy M. Miller.
Wilson Bruce Bevins, 56, of Litton Hollow in Chattaroy, was indicted and arrested on two counts of delivery of a Schedule I Controlled Substance (Marijuana). Jimmy Diamond, 60, also of Litton Hollow, had been indicted and was taken into custody one count of delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance (Hydrocodone).
The two Chattaroy arrests were conducted by a team of officers headed up by MCSD Drug Task Force Commander C.D. Rockel, along with WPD Sgt. John Hall, MCSD Sgt. J. Muncy, Deputy E. Williams and Cpl. C. Endicott.
In Delbarton, James Crabtree, 45, was indicted on two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Hydrocodone); Daniel Martin, 33, was indicted and arrested on two counts of delivery of a Schedule I controlled substance (Marijuana); Amanda Dempsey, 21, was taken into custody after being indicted on a single count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone); and Bradley Lawson, 19, was indicted and arrested on delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Hydrocodone).
The team of arresting officers included Delbarton Police Chief D. Nunley (Team Leader, Patrolman G. Ford, MCSD Lt. J. Ferris and Deputy S. Smith.
In the Gilbert area, three defendants who had been indicted were also taken into custody by MCSD Cpl. N. Mines (Team Leader), Sgt. James Smith, Sgt. Joe Smith, Deputies R. Fitch and N. Glanden, Home Confinement Officer A. Mines and Gilbert Asst. Police Chief M. Rasmussen. Assistance was also provided by U.S. Marshals.
Janet Berry, 37, was indicted on two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone); Lawrence Ellis, 64, was indicted and arrested on three counts of delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance (Hydrocodone); and Farron Cline, 41, was indicted by the grand jury on two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone).
The defendants were transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden.
“These indictments are a continuation of Operation Zero Tolerance, which was started after our late sheriff, Eugene Crum, took office,” stated Rockel. “I want the arrests we have made today to send a loud message to the residents of Mingo County who were concerned that the drug arrests would stop after Sheriff Crum’s death that we are moving forward and we are not stopping.”
“We will fight the fight.”
“We are determined to continue on the path of ridding our county of the drugs that were allowed to take a strong hold in our neighborhoods and communities for far too long. And in the words of our former sheriff and friend, if you sell drugs in Mingo County - we will be knocking on your door.”
The defendants are scheduled to appear in Mingo County Circuit Court this afternoon at 1 p.m. for their arraignments before the Honorable Judge Michael Thornsbury, along with others who were indicted on a variety of charges that include child neglect, child abuse, cyber-sex crimes, grand larceny, burglary and sexual assault, among others. A complete list of indictments will appear in Sunday’s edition of the Williamson Daily News and on their website, www.williamsondailynews.com.