STUART, Va. — Investigators with the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office is seeking citizens’ help in locating several area residents wanted in connection with drug activity, Sheriff Dan Smith announced Thursday.
According to Smith, 84 people were indicted last week by a Patrick County Grand Jury on 300 sealed indictments involving drug and weapons offenses.
While there have been multiple arrests as a result, several area residents remain free.
“The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, along with numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, spent most of the day Wednesday arresting those named in the indictments,” Smith said. “The majority of those indicted were Patrick County residents, and most of the remaining who allegedly sold drugs in the county were from adjoining jurisdictions.”
Police are still seeking to charge:
• Timothy Reed Hopkins, 29, currently in the Surry County Jail. Hopkins is wanted on charges of maintaining a common nuisance and distributing schedule I or II controlled substances.
• Erik Derelle Farris, 28, address unknown. Farris is charged with five counts of drug distribution and three counts of conspiracy to sell drugs.
• James Arthur Hargis, 49, of Ararat, Va. Hargis is charged with five counts of the sale of schedule I or II drugs and two counts of conspiracy to sell drugs.
• Jeffery Scott Hargis, 46, of Ararat, Va. He is charged with six counts of the sale of drugs and two counts of conspiracy to sell drugs.
• Jeremy Tremain Hatcher, 23, of Worth Street in Mount Airy. Hatcher is charged with two counts of the sale of a schedule I or II controlled substance.
• Michael Anthony Becker, 36, of Claudville, Va. Becker is charged with five counts of the sale of controlled substances.
• Joseph Michael Fleenor, 24, of Woltz Atkins Road in Mount Airy. Fleenor is charged with selling a firearm to a convicted felon, conspiracy to sell schedule I and II controlled substances, the possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, and two counts of the sale of a schedule I or II controlled substance.
• Elizabeth Ann Vandyke, 28, of Ararat, Va. Vandyke is charged with two counts of conspiracy to distribute a schedule I or II controlled substance and three counts of the sale of a schedule I or II controlled substance.
• Timothy Joseph King, 47, of Brim Road in Mount Airy. King is charged with the possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance, selling a firearm to a convicted felon and four counts of the distribution of a schedule I or II controlled substance.
• Jimmy Cole Pike, 23, address unknown. Pike is charged with selling stolen property.
Smith said this month’s indictments are the result of a two-year undercover operation that spanned the region.
He said this first round of indictments is the first wave of charges resulting from “the largest narcotics investigation (this) office has ever conducted.
“For nearly five years, I have made my stance on illegal narcotics distribution very clear,” he said, noting that he has indicted more than 200 individuals on state and federal charges since 2008.
Lead investigators on the case were Sgt. Eric O’Connell and Investigator Darrell Rorrer.
The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Virginia State Police, Martinsville Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Airy Police Department, Surry County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Department of ABC and the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office.
As of Thursday afternoon, 40 individuals had been arrested, while eight others were already behind bars on previous charges.
All unserved indictments will remain sealed until next week. At that time, those names will be released and all named in the indictments who have not been arrested will be considered fugitives from justice.
Anyone with information regarding these individuals is asked to call Smith at 276-692-7012.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.