Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 12, 2010

Guns, drugs seized in Giles

PEARISBURG, Va. —  Several pounds of marijuana,  more than 100 guns, some explosive devices and many other items were seized by the Giles County Sheriff’s Department during what Sheriff Morgan Millirons said was one of the largest busts in the county in the past two years.

Darrell Porterfield, 54, of Newport, Va., faces charges of manufacturing of marijuana and possession with intent to sell, Millirons said. Porterfield may also face firearms charges since anyone with more than a pound of marijuana in their possession can be charged for having firearms, according to Millirons.

As part of Giles County’s annual marijuana eradication on August 4, a National Guard helicopter flying over the county spotted a patch of growing marijuana, which turned out to be at Porterfield’s residence on Mountain Lake Road between Maybrooke and Newport.

“The officers went into the location at 2 p.m. and didn’t leave until 4 a.m.,” Millirons said.

According to Millirons, police found three to four pounds of marijuana and 73 marijuana plants inside the home. Millirons said each of the 73 plants found was worth approximately $3,000 and the total haul of marijuana was valued at approximately  $214,000. Marijuana seeds, dried but unprocessed marijuana, indoor grow lights, starter trays, fertilizer, vacuum bags for storage and precision scales were also found at the scene. However, Millirons said no evidence of smoking devices were uncovered at the residence.

The weapons found consisted mostly of hunting rifles, target rifles and a few custom guns with no illegal weapons in the residence or outbuilding where police searched, Millirons said. Several thousand rounds of ammunition were also found, and Millirons estimated the value of the weapons seized could be anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000.

The guns and marijuana paraphernalia were scattered throughout the residence and an outbuilding, according to Millirons.

“Everything was in plain view,” he said.

Other items seized included $474 in currency, coins and two ATVs.

Porterfield was arrested but made his bond of $2,000, according to Millirons. His arraignment date or any additional charges he may be facing have not been determined yet, Millirons said.

“We were very proud of this bust,” Millirons said. “It was a good feeling for us. We want our county and its streets to be safe. We feel like we got a person who meets the criteria for being a big manufacturer of marijuana. I am very proud of my men and the agencies that helped us. We all really worked together.”

In addition to the Giles County Sheriff’s Department, the Virginia State Police, Virginia National Guard, Pearisburg Police, Rich Creek Police, Pembroke Police, Narrows Police and the ATF aided in the search and seizure.

The Sheriff’s Department hopes a judge will allow them to sell the weapons in order to purchase equipment for the force and help in future drug investigations. Millirons said there have been 400 felony drug indictments in the county since 2008.

“The drug problem in Giles County was a major problem brought to my attention before I became sheriff,” Millirons said.

Millirons said the investigation is ongoing and the police are currently investigating to determine if there may be other suspects involved in the case.

— Contact Kate Coil

at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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