74ºF

Sheriff: Major meth distribution network 'systematically dismantled' in Amherst County

Accused meth dealers could get life in prison

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – The Amherst County Sheriff's Office is announcing a major drug bust.

A grand jury indicted 14 people on Thursday as part of an ongoing anti-drug initiative. 

The sheriff's office says that a "major narcotics distribution network has been systematically dismantled." 

photo

Some of those people are facing life sentences in prison for allegedly trafficking over 2,000 grams of methamphetamine into the area since December-- in an operation investigators called, "Operation Falcon Heights."

The sheriff's office said the operation came after a neighbor made a complain about suspicious drug activity in the Madison Heights Neighborhood.

Sheriff E.W. Viar said the individuals were a part of a major meth distribution network and the man at the top of the network could face life in prison.

Amherst is in the middle of an ongoing anti-drug initative. 

In October 2017 the sheriff's office recognized meth was a problem for the county. That same year 55 people were charged during "Operation Ice Breaker" a multi-agency sting.

The Sheriff said Friday's indictments show that this is a community effort.

"A lot of people don't want to get involved. They say, 'I wanna tell you something, but I don't want to get involved.' If you don't come forward and tell us these things, how do we know this? This is a community effort. All these drug arrests, someone had to step up and come forward," Viar said.

The sheriff's office believes they know everyone who is involved, but have a few more arrests to make.

photo

The Amherst County Sheriff's Office arrested the following people Friday as part of the operation:

  • Bobby Archer, 44, of Lynchburg, arrested on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to distribute 10 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Albert Branham, 37, of Madison Heights, was arrested on one count of conspiracy distribution of methamphetamine
  • Atha Dunn, 35, of Madison Heights, was arrested on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine schedule I or II (conspiracy to conspire with 10 grams or more)
  • Dakota Fitzgerald, 23, of Madison Heights, was arrested on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and on one count of conspiracy of distribution of Schedule I or II methamphetamine
  • Melvin Houston, 44, of Gladys, was arrested on one count of operating a criminal enterprise of methamphetamine, distribution etc. (250 grams or more)
  • Jonathan Larson, 35, of Campbell County, was arrested on one count of conspiracy of distribution of 10 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Bridgett Martin, 31, of Madison Heights, was arrested on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and one count of continuing a criminal enterprise of methamphetamine, etc. (250 grams or more)