IOW drug sting nets 11; one still sought
Published 10:28 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015
ISLE OF WIGHT
As of Tuesday afternoon, 11 people are in custody and one person is still sought as the result of Operation Bullseye, a sting operation, which was jointly conducted by the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office, the Meherrin Drug Task Force and Virginia State Police. IOW Sheriff Mark Marshall made the announcement at a press conference on Monday in the circuit courthouse.
The undercover investigation, which began at the start of the summer, arose from the finding of “a significant rise of the sale and distribution of heroin” in the county, Sheriff Marshall said, and added that two deaths caused by an overdose of the drug were also a factor.
He described heroin use as not just a regional or national issue, but also a local problem. Further, most of the drug transactions were reportedly done throughout the county, but with no particular focus on any area.
“The message is that no community is immune,” he said.
In addition to the arrests and warrants, Operation Bullseye has yielded $38,540 worth of drugs, three guns and approximately $40,000 worth of assets, such as cars, houses and even jewelry. The sheriff also notified media after the conference that while he was speaking, investigators were searching one of the seized vehicles and found cocaine in a hidden compartment. Lt. Tommy Potter, lead investigator, said the 12.8 ounces discovered is valued at $13,000.
Asked what’s the source of all the heroin, the sheriff said, “That’s the million dollar question.”
He anticipates that further research will result in “bigger and more significant suppliers” than the ones either captured or still wanted.
Sheriff Marshall said the investigation was “very time-consuming, expensive and labor-intensive” and had “different complexities involved,” such as the work by the task force, which included law enforcement from Southampton County and Emporia.
“We’re very pleased with the cooperative efforts by localities,” he added.
IOW Commonwealth Attorney Georgette Phillips said her office was involved in the case “right from the get-go. There was great teamwork. I applaud the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office and Meherrin Drug Task Force.”
Phillips added that heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 drug and could get a conviction of one to 40 years imprisionment.
She, along with Deputy James Clark and Capt. Joey Willard and Potter, were present at the conference.
The public’s help is requested in either providing any other information pertinent to the investigation or finding the remaining suspect, Dashean R. Davis, aka “Veg.” He is charged with three counts of distributing cocaine.
Call 1-888-LOCK U-UP, or text to CRIMES. Begin the tip with IOWCL, then type in your message and press send.
Potter reported on Tuesday morning that while Davis was still being sought, Travis C. Holloway, aka “Black,” and Robert L. Shivers had turned themselves in on Monday.
Holloway is charged with one count of distributing cocaine. Shivers is charged with three counts of distributing heroin.
The following others in custody and their charges are:
• Joshua N. Bailey, aka “Crab Boy” — charged with two counts of distributing cocaine;
• Jonathan K. Elder, aka “Baldy” — charged with two counts of distributing cocaine and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine;
• Anthony T. Holland, aka “Ant” — charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;
• Timothy L. Johnson, aka “Timmy” — charged with three counts of distributing cocaine, and three counts of driving after being declared a habitual offender;
• Chevon A. King, aka “BunBun” — charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine;
• Kenneth E. Lyles — three counts of distributing marijuana weighing over a half ounce, but under 5 pounds;
• Justin E. Monette, aka “Country” — charge with two counts of distributing heroin, and two counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin;
• Jennifer N. Ramsey, aka “Red” — charged with two counts of distributing heroin, and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin; and
• Christopher W. Seeds — charged with one count of distributing heroin, and one count of distributing imitation drugs.