IW Sheriff’s Office charges 22 in ‘Operation: House of Cards’
Published 10:45 am Monday, November 26, 2018
ISLE OF WIGHT
Deputies with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested 22 suspects in a drug bust nicknamed “Operation: House of Cards.”
According to spokesman Lt. Tommy Potter, “Operation: House of Cards” was a six-month long undercover operation conducted in partnership with the Meherrin Drug Task Force, of which the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office is a member. Other law enforcement agencies comprising the task force include the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Emporia Police Department and the Virginia State Police.
In addition to arresting 22 suspects, deputies seized $24,105 worth of drugs, including methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin and other schedule I and II drugs.
Two of the suspects arrested are from Zuni, Potter said. These are William R. Carpenter, a.k.a. “Chop Stix,” age 41, and Nikki L. Everett, a.k.a. “Crystal,” age 24. Both are charged with three counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, three counts of distribution of marijuana – half an ounce to five pounds, three counts of distribution of a schedule I or II drug, three counts of conspiracy to distribute a schedule I or II drug.
Carpenter is also charged with two counts of driving revoked while habitual offender. Both have also been linked to the armed robbery of Country’s Mini Mart in Zuni, and to other crimes in Surry County.
Three are from Carrsville. These are Aaron N. Blythe and Joey E. Froman, both 35, and Amy D. Johnson, age 39. Blythe is charged with a single count of manufacture or distribution of a schedule I or II drug and one count of conspiracy to violate the Drug Control Act. Froman and Johnson are each charged with two counts of manufacture or distribution, one count of conspiracy to violate, and one count of allowing a minor present during manufacture of methamphetamine.
“The manufacture of meth is an extremely dangerous process,” Potter said of the charge involving manufacture in the presence of a child.
He added that the alleged manufacturing occurred in a private residence on Dukes Lane in Carrsville, where all three Carrsville residents were living.
The majority of the 22 suspects arrested, Potter said, “are not your everyday users.” Rather, they were “those who were supplying those battling addiction.”
He added that not all of the suspects knew each other, and that this was not one big drug ring, but rather several independent manufacturing operations.
“As law enforcement, being able to remove these individuals and this amount of narcotics off the street, it makes a difference in the community,” Potter said.
Two unnamed juveniles were also charged, one age 16 and one age 17. Potter could not say what schools these juveniles attended, but confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office did not believe any drug dealing had occurred on school property. The 16-year-old faces charges of three counts of distribution of a schedule I drug and three counts of conspiracy to distribute an imitation schedule I or II drug. The 17-year-old faces charges of three counts of distribution of Schedule I (LSD) and two counts of conspiracy to distribute a schedule I or II drug.
A grand jury certified a total of 97 felony indictments, indicating that almost all the suspects face two or more charges. All suspects are currently being held at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.