Drug roundup target 12 federal cases - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Drug roundup target 12 federal cases

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BECKELY -

A busy day for Beckley Police, battling illegal drugs, a city wide round up --- aiming to arrest 12. The latest we have learned is ten of the suspects have been arrested --- while 2 remain on the run.

Drugs, guns and under cover cops it reads like a great story out of a mystery novel but it's not. Police said it's happening right here in Beckley.

The U.S. Attorneys office and Local Law enforcement officials rounded up ten people Tuesday suspected of selling pills.

Police said this is the start of a city wide effort to get pills off the streets.

"Prescription pills are the main problem right now in the majority of West Virginia and it sends a message that if you are going to sell pills, you are going to jail no questions asked.  If this isn't a deterrent, I don't know what else would be," Gant Montgomery Beckley Chief of Detectives said.

Among the long list of suspects is Anthony Leftwich, who was arrested at his Willbrian Apartment just moments before we arrived.  Police were still searching the apartment and neighbors were gathered around watching.

"Florida has cracked down a lot, so we are not seeing a lot of these people get pills from Florida. They are getting pills locally," Montgomery said.

Neighbors were reluctant to speak with our crews on camera, but they did tell our crews the pill problem is really bad.

Where are the pills coming from? They said Florida used to be the place where folks would get their fix but now it is hitting a lot closer to home.

Florida has cracked down a lot, so we are not seeing a lot of these people get pills from Florida. They are getting pills locally.

Locally bought, and locally sold, that's why police say it is important to crack down. 

Here is a list of those arrested according to police:

Brian Ruffin
Nara Ray
Tony Bennett
Ronald Mason- arrested for distribution of cocaine
Chad Lovelace
Jeffery Rhodes

Sean Lockett 
David Bryant

The following was issued by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office:

"Brian Ruffin, 28, of Beckley, W.Va., charged in a three-count indictment with distribution of cocaine and one count of distribution of oxycodone.  Faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Jeffrey Rhodes, 40, of Beckley, charged with three counts of distribution of oxycodone.  Faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Ronald Mason, 34, of Beckley, charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine.  Faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

David Bryant, 44, of Beckley, charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone; one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin; and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.  Faces up to 40 years on the drug counts and up to 10 years in prison on the firearm count if convicted.   

Chad Lovelace, 26, of Beckley, charged with two counts of distribution of oxycodone.  Faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

The matters are also being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney's Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District."