Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 30, 2013

Giles County officers arrest 69 in largest drug bust of county’s history

PEARISBURG, Va. — Officers in Giles County arrested 69 individuals Monday in what officials are calling the largest drug bust in the county’s history.

Giles County Sheriff Morgan Millirons said 69 people were arrested on 120 charges as a result of an investigation that began in December 2012.

“We are not revealing the names or information of the suspects at this time because this is an ongoing investigation,” Millirons said. “We have a lot of residents from Giles and Monroe counties. We found prescription pills, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. This is the largest bust we’ve had as far as number of indictments and people.”

Millirons said the drug round up yielded evidence that the county’s methamphetamine problem might be growing.

“We discovered two meth labs in the course of this investigation,” Millirons said. “Meth has been hit and miss in this area, but lately we have seen an increase in both meth labs and meth.”

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Debra Sifford said prescription pills are still the largest problem the county faces.

“Right now what we see the most is definitely prescription pills, especially oxycontin,” Sifford said. “We want to nip it in the bud before it becomes more of a problem. Prescription drugs have been on our radar for a while and we don’t want to see the problem increase.”

Sifford said methamphetamine has only recently become a concern.

“Meth labs are relatively new to our area,” she said. “It is a growing problem throughout both Virginia and Southwest Virginia. For us, it hasn’t been a big problem, but the problem does seem to be spilling over from other counties such as Floyd, Wythe and Smyth. In the past, many of the methamphetamine cases we have prosecuted have involved individuals from other counties who were out on bond and came here.”

With the arrests made, Sifford said there is still a lot to do before the offenders are sentenced.

“The courts are now appointing attorneys for many of them,” Sifford said. “Some have a prior criminal history and some are out on bond or probation. The officers are still processing them at the jail and many are awaiting arraignment. In the next few weeks, we will start having bond hearings.”

Others arrested in the roundup will have to be extradited from West Virginia, Sifford said.

“The good news is there is a good relationship between West Virginia and Virginia for extradition,” Sifford said. “It can take longer to get those cases processed because the person may want a hearing. Crossing the state line doesn’t stop prosecuting but it can delay it.”

Sifford said a great deal of praise goes to the officers in both West Virginia and Virginia who helped make the round up possible.

“We had great cooperation between officers in Virginia and in West Virginia,” Sifford said. “Getting everyone’s cooperation and everyone coordinating together took a lot of work for all the agencies involved. These officers work very hard and do a very good job.”

Millirons said officers with the Giles County Drug Task Force, Virginia State Police, West Virginia State Police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Giles County Sheriff’s Office, Pearisburg Police Department, Narrows Police Department, Glen Lyn Police Department, Rich Creek Police Department, and Pembroke Police Department all contributed to the investigation.

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