24 lbs. of meth seized in drug trafficking bust

Drug bust - Dec. 28, 2017

MARION — It was a along night for the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Marion Police Department, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the N.C. Highway Patrol, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Morganton Department of Public Safety and the Prosecutorial District 29A District Attorney’s Office.

Numerous search warrants and arrest warrants were served stemming from a six-month investigation of a methamphetamine drug trafficking case on December 27, 2017.  The investigation netted 24 pounds of methamphetamine,  an undetermined amount of money and numerous guns. Authorities estimated the value of the drugs at over $1 million.

The investigation focused on the distribution of meth, primarily in McDowell and Rutherford Counties. The drug source was from the Atlanta area for distribution here.

“The drugs were headed directly for our streets,” said McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene. “We’re glad they didn’t get there. This case underscores the impact law enforcement can have when agencies work together. I appreciate our dedicated personnel, and the partnership we have with other agencies.”

Beginning on the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 27, authorities conducted multiple search warrants in both counties and arrested 13 suspects. Their names, charges and bonds are as follows:

Arnold

– Tracey Lynn Arnold, 54, of 3815 Dedmond Road in Mooresboro, one count each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $1 million bond

– Andy Darren Green, 49, of 722 Andrews Mill Road in Bostic, two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $1 million bond

– Roman Guzman, 27, of Lexington, S.C., one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine; $500,000 bond

– Ruben Guzman, 26, of Spartanburg, S.C., two counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and trafficking in methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $5 million bond

– Ashlea Nicole Hawkins, 34, of 1048 High Shoals Church Road in Mooresboro, one count each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $100,000 bond

– Joshua Michael “Bubba” Lipe, 37, of 70 Indian Waters Drive in Old Fort, two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $5 million bond

– Dennis Eugene Medley, 35, of 1458 Beechwood Road in Mooresboro, one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine; $1 million bond

– Tonya Chris-Ann Mullinax, 40, of 840 Jack McKinney Road in Forest City, one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine; $1 million bond

– Deidre Diane Pearson, 38, of 3815 Dedmond Road in Mooresboro, two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $5 million bond

– Dustin Bo Pearson, 30, of 161 Cliffside St. in Rutherfordton, one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine; $1 million bond

– Robin Ann Rhyne, 54, of 62 Highway 70 Business East in Ellenboro, two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise; $1 million bond

– Allison Michelle Smith, 51, of 76 Souther Road in Old Fort, one count each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and continuing a criminal enterprise; $5 million bond

– Wesley Chad Smith, 42, of 122 Durham Road in Mooresboro, one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine; $500,000 bond

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District Attorney Ted Bell who was on the scene until well after midnight commented:

We are extremely grateful for all of the hard work and effort by the agents and officers of these agencies over the last several months that made this result possible. Coming on the heels of the extensive meth ring bust several months ago, I hope the remaining drug dealers of McDowell and Rutherford Counties realize that we’ll be coming for you soon.

Additional arrests are forthcoming.


Special thanks to Richelle Bailey of the McDowell Sheriff’s Depart.