Last week’s sting operation in Westmoreland netted over a dozen individuals allegedly involved in the local drug trade.
On Sept. 26, the Tri-County Task Force announced the arrests and indictments against 15 people from across the area, all of whom were suspected of being involved in illegal narcotic activity.
“We had a round up this morning,” said Sheriff C.O. Balderson, adding that the sting had been named “Operation Heat Wave” by the task force.
“This was a five-month investigation,” Balderson said. “We had some information that came in and we worked each case. We had several informants and all the team members worked together well.”
Balderson added that all but two, a mother and daughter team, were cases that had no known ties.
“We had teams go out to different locations where these people were and we got them off the street,” Balderson said, adding that the agencies involved were the Tri-County Task Force, which includes Westmoreland, King George and Caroline Counties, the Virginia State Police and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, assisted by ABC, the Tappahannock Police and the Northern Neck Regional Jail.
Arrested in the operation were:
• Elizabeth D. Speer, 21 of the Town of Colonial Beach, charged with one count of distribution and one count of conspiring to distribute prescription pills;
• Benjamin C. Fuchs, 27 of the Town of Colonial Beach, charged with two counts of distribution and two counts of conspiring to distribute prescription pills;
• Daniel G. Daras, 25 of the Town of Colonial Beach, charged with one count of distribution, and one count of conspiring to distribute prescription pills.
• Charles B. W. Sneed, 20 of the Town of Colonial Beach, whose charges, according to Balderson, were a bit complex.
“On this one we actually executed search warrant on 300 block of Second Street in the town,” Balderson said. “He was charged on indictments of possession of more than a half-ounce of marijuana. On the execution of the search warrant, we did obtain other narcotics, a handgun and ammunition, which then added to his other charges.”
• Theresa Ramos-Fernandez, 51 of Colonial Beach, charged with one count of distribution of crack/cocaine.
• William A. Smith, 63 of Oak Grove, charged with one count of possession of Schedule I or II drugs, namely cocaine.
• Robert. J. Allison, IV, 24 of Placid Bay Estates, charged with one count of distribution of crack/cocaine.
• Rodney X. Gorham, 39 of Placid Bay Estates, charged with one count of distribution of crack/cocaine.
• Tirrell J. Morris, 27 of placid Bay Estates, who was incarcerated and picked him up from Rappahannock Regional Jail where he was being held on other charges totally separate from the ones associated with Operation Heat Wave. He was brought up on two indictments of distribution of crack/cocaine.
• Quenton C. Baylor, 29 of Oak Grove, charged with a single count of distribution of more then a half-ounce of marijuana.
•Robert D. Reynolds, 27 of Montross, who again, had a multipart indictment.
“He actually was picked up on two indictments yesterday of distribution of crack/cocaine,” Balderson said. “He was in the operation plan for what we did today but we picked him up yesterday. Upon searching his person, after being served with the indictments, he was further charged on a warrant with possession with intent to distribute.”
• Glinda M. Marchetti, 48 of Hague, charged with two counts of distribution of prescription drugs.
• Mandy L. Bourne, 32 of Coles Point, charged with one count of distribution of prescription medication.
• Carrie C. Colley, 44 of Kinsale, and her daughter Lynn M Tolson, 24 also of Kinsale. “These go together,” Balderson said. “Colley was charged with three distribution charges, [one of which] is of imitation controlled substances. She also has two charges of conspiring to distribute, one is imitation as well, and these are for prescription pills. It was like, for example, if you were going to purchase Oxycodone, instead it was Percocet. That is how the imitation comes out on that.”
Balderson added that Colley was also charged with child abuse and neglect.
Tolson was brought up on two distribution charges, one of those being for imitation drugs, one charge of conspiring to distribute and one count of child abuse and neglect.
According to Balderson, the operation was a success and he believes that they will make an impact on ending the repeated patterns of local criminal activity.
“It is crucial that we keep working and conducting our investigations,” Balderson said. “It is a cycle that we need to break. This has certainly had an impact and we have to keep knocking along.”