Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 24, 2007

Drug ring busted

Three McDowell men arrested for alleged oxycodone distribution

BLUEFIELD — Three McDowell County men were arrested Tuesday and one man remains at large as members of the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force moved to break up an illegal oxycodone drug ring that police say included six-figure deals, and at least one drug-dumping police chase through Mercer and McDowell Counties.

Christopher Gross, 29, of Gary, and twin brothers Terry and Jerry Headen, both 32 of Havaco, were at U.S. District Court in Bluefield Tuesday afternoon in response to a criminal complaint filed Monday by Sgt. W.T. Jones of the task force. The fourth man, who police say also maintains a residence in Bluefield and out of state, remains at large.

“We executed seven search warrants (Tuesday) morning at residences in McDowell and Mercer counties,” McDowell County Sheriff Danny Mitchell said. “We searched houses in Havaco, Gary and Bluefield where we were able to recover a large quantity of oxycodone, several weapons and a large quantity of cash.

“The arrests of the Headen twins and Chris Gross came at the conclusion of a long investigation conducted by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the McDowell, Wyoming and Mercer county sheriff’s departments, the Bluefield and Princeton city police, the West Virginia State police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. I want to personally thank all these agencies for their long hours of work and their determination in investigating this case.”

The complaint alleges that the four subjects conspired to “knowingly and intentionally ... distribute and possess with intent to distribute quantities of oxycodone.” In an affidavit filed Monday at U.S. District Court in Beckley, Sgt. W.T. Jones of the Task Force outlined the last phase of his investigation involving evidence obtained by a wire tap authorized by federal authorities.

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