By Chris Dumond
Amherst County sheriff’s deputies arrested 17 people last week in what has become an annual Christmastime drug roundup.
This year’s operation was called “Was it worth it?”
According to the deputies, those arrested had been subject to undercover summertime drug buys of marijuana, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, ecstasy and prescription pain killers.
Arrestees have begun making initial appearances in Amherst General District Court, with several still being held in the county jail.
In a press release, Investigator J.E. Begley said the drug buys have been more difficult than in the past.
“Some dealers in the county have stopped selling completely and others are still scared with the conclusion of Operation Silent Night last year,” Begley noted.
Eighteen people have been charged. As of last week, the sheriff’s department was still attempting to locate Vincent Edward “Ben” Clark 37, Madison Heights, who was wanted on a cocaine distribution charge. One suspect, Madison Heights resident James Lawrence Jones, was already in custody with the Blue Ridge Regional Jail on unrelated charges.
Lt. Greg Turner said that several of those arrested have also been charged with felony child endangerment and selling within a school zone.
Those charged include:
- Samantha Lee Dickerson, 22, of Draper Drive, Madison Heights, possession of methamphetamine, felony child endangerment.
- Carl Bryon Viar Jr., 22, of Lowesville, possession of methamphetamine.
- James Lee Bryant, 26, of Cabell road, Wingina, possession of methamphetamine.
- Gregory Scott Ellinger, 42, of South Wood Duck Drive, Madison Heights, possession with the intent to distribute more than half an ounce but under five pounds of marijuana.
- Daniel Brodis Martin, 53, Wellington Court, Amherst, two counts of distribution of hydrocodone, one count of selling within 1,000 feet of a school, two counts distribution alprazolam.
- Gary Sharone Liggon Sr. 56, of Amelon Road, possession of cocaine.
- Christopher Michael Jones, 39, of Galt’s Mill Road, Madison Heights, two counts of distribution of more than half an ounce of marijuana, two counts of second or subsequent distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute more than half an ounce of marijuana.
- Joseph Ryan-Nichols Willoughby, 25, of Dixie Airport Road, Madison Heights, two counts of distribution of hydrocodone.
- Markice Cortez Bradley, 28, of Pinehurst Street, Lynchburg, five counts of second or subsequent distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
- Samuelle Tresvant Scott, 20, of Main Street, Madison Heights, misdemeanor distribution of marijuana, misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
- Benjamin Owen Foster, 24, of Fox Briar Place, Madison Heights, three counts of distribution of cocaine, distribution of more than half an ounce of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute more than half an ounce of marijuana.
- Albert Adolphus Branham, 30, of Campbell Street, Madison Heights, two counts of felony child endangerment, four counts of distribution of hydrocodone, two counts of distribution of imitation ecstasy.
- Megan Alexis Stanley-Branham, 30, of Old Wright Shop Road, Madison Heights, distribution of hydrocodone, two counts of felony child neglect.
- Justin Clayborne Martin, 22, of Highland Circle, Madison Heights, possession with intent to distribute more than half an ounce of marijuana, four misdemeanor counts of distribution of less than half an ounce of marijuana
- Satya Narayan Faulconerville Drive, Amherst, sale of drug paraphernalia
- Derek Ryan Pierce, Winesap Road, Madison Heights, distribution of hydrocodone.