Over 20 residents of Caroline County, Fredericksburg and Hanover County were arrested March 13 and charged with distribution of everything from cocaine to heroin, marijuana and prescription pills, Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa reported.
Methamphetamine drugs were not among the drugs found, said Major Scott Moser of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office.
The single search warrant that led to all of the arrests was initiated in the 7000 block of Breezewood Lane near U.S. 1 and just north of Ladysmith Village.
CCSO patrol deputies, CCSO narcotics investigators, Virginia State Police agents and members of the Tri-County Narcotics Task Force began conducting arrests of over 20 suspects in the early morning hours of March 13 as a result of a one-year undercover drug investigation, Moser said.
“We got a lot of tips from the community in order to combat the issue of drug distribution in Caroline County,” Moser said.
“This is a tremendous blow to the drug community and a real victory for us and the community,” Moser said. “Drugs a lot of times are a catalyst for other crimes.”
Almost all of those arrested are from Caroline County and range in age from 20 to 54. Lippa said that charges against the 24 suspects include distribution of marijuana, distribution of various prescription pills, distribution of cocaine, distribution of heroin, distribution of PCP, distribution of MDMA (ecstasy) and the illegal possession of prescription pills. Lippa also said additional arrests are expected.
The Tri-County Narcotics Task Force is comprised of members from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, the King George County Sheriff’s Office, the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.
“Some of those arrested are repeat offenders with previous drug charges,” Moser said. “Some of them were addicted to drugs. They feel like they have to do whatever they can to support their habit. People like this may have to steal to support their habit. This is why the Sheriff’s Office takes a strong stance on drug enforcement. Drugs not only affect the person’s family but also the community.”
Moser noted that prescription drug crimes like this are not just in Caroline, but also all across Virginia. “Virginia has seen an increase in prescription drug abuse. It’s available in people’s cabinets. It just sits around.” That’s why the CCSO has a program in which Caroline residents can turn over outdated or unneeded prescription drugs, and the CCSO will dispose of them.
If your house gets broken into, you should check to see if valuables were stolen as well as prescription drugs from the medicine cabinet, Moser said. “People get high on pain medicine or they sell it,” Moser said.
Those arrested and charged were:
Antoine Cephas, 39, of Woodford: distributing marijuana
Ernesto Courtney, 40, of Fredericksburg: distributing marijuana
Richard Duran, 38, of Ruther Glen: illegally possessing prescription drugs
Reginald Ferguson Jr., 30, of Beaverdam: distribution of heroin and pills
Vernon Huff, 43, of Ruther Glen: distribution of MDMA (ecstasy)
Chad Humphries, 43, of Hanover: distribution of prescription pills
Michael Irby, 45, of Milford: distribution of prescription pills
Clarence Jeter, 22, of Ruther Glen: distributing marijuana
Jamal Kelly, 24, of Bowling Green: distributing marijuana
Darrius Lewis, 29, of Woodford: distributing PCP
Eric Smith, 54, of Ruther Glen: distribution of prescription pills
Rachel Thomas, 51, of Ruther Glen: distribution of prescription pills
Jeoffrey Ware, 42, of Bowling Green: distributing marijuana
Thomas Lewis, 33, of Ruther Glen: distributing marijuana
Glinnis Madison, 38, of Ruther Glen: distribution of prescription pills
James Mercer, 26, distribution of cocaine
Anthony Samuel, 23: distribution of marijuana and MDMA
Stacy Foxx, 33, of Ruther Glen: distribution of cocaine
Dwight Smith, 24, of Bowling Green: distribution of cocaine
Melissa Sweeny, 34, of Ruther Glen: illegal possession of prescription drugs
Loretta Thomas, 33, of Woodford: distribution of prescription pills
Arthur Washington, 28: distribution of marijuana and cocaine
Michael Young, 25, of Ruther Glen: distributing marijuana
Christopher Fowler, 20, Ruther Glen: distribution of drugs