Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 12, 2012

Multiple drug charges: Tazewell man in custody

JAMIE PARSELL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Bluefield Daily Telegraph TAZEWELL, Va. — Authorities have arrested a Tazewell County man on multiple drug-related charges after a search warrant was executed Tuesday at a local residence and business.

Sep Zu Ha, also known as Jusep Ha and Chingy, 29, has been indicted on seven counts of possession/distribution of a controlled substance on school or public property, four counts of distribution of schedule I or II controlled substances, five counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of distribution of schedule III controlled substances, three counts of conspiracy to distribute a schedule I or II controlled substance and distribution of marijuana.

Agents, deputies and officers from the Tazewell County Narcotics Task Force, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Tazewell Police Department and the Virginia State Police executed the 22 count indictment and search warrant on the business and residence of Ha on Tuesday.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Tazewell Police Chief DeWitt Cooper said firearms were found in Ha’s home on 121 Harmon Street and at his business, Star Nails, in North Tazewell.

“He is pretty dangerous,” Cooper said. “He carried weapons at all times.”

Ha, who is a convicted non-violent felon, is not permitted to possess a firearm.

Cooper also said Ha allegedly sold drugs at Tazewell High School, the local parks as well as his business and home.

“This is very troubling,” Cooper said. “We are looking to kids for the future and he is destroying them.”

Authorities found evidence at both the nail salon and Ha’s residence. Cooper said the items found didn’t add up.

“They were the types of things you don’t have in a business,” he said.

Sheriff Brian Hieatt of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office said Ha was well known in the area. He had been living in the area for a number of years, Hieatt said. Many residents had complained to the authorities about Ha’s activities.

Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Lee said it had been an ongoing case.

“This is a cooperative effort and should demonstrate to those that deal in dangerous drugs that we are working hard every day to combat the problem and that we will not rest until those dealers are brought to justice,” Lee said.

The case is still under investigation.

“There are many more aspects that will be followed up,” Lee said.

In a press release, Hieatt said Ha had deep-rooted drug connections in Tazewell and other states.

“While Mr. Ha is in custody our investigation will continue and we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to break up this operation and if that includes going to other jurisdictions outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia with our evidence we are prepared to do that,” Hieatt said.

Both Hieatt and Cooper said the investigation didn’t happen overnight, but over time with help from other departments and concerned citizens.

Ha is being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond. He will be appointed a lawyer, who will set up a bond hearing.

Lee said Ha’s charges were serious allegations and could result in lengthy sentences, if convicted.

Hieatt said other arrests could be made in the case.

— Contact Jamie Parsell at jparsell@bdtonline.com