Moonshine and Marijuana found in McDowell County - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Moonshine and Marijuana found in McDowell County

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Melissa Lester Melissa Lester
An arrest is made in an investigation into moonshining out of McDowell County.  Sheriff's Deputies worked with the neighboring Buchannon County Sheriff's Office in Virginia along with the West Virginia State Police and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Deputies went to the home of Lewis "Reuben" Lester in the Paynesville area on Thursday, Aug. 15 to perform a search warrant.  While they were there, deputies and troopers discovered 50 marijuana plants that were around 15-feet tall.  They also found an operating moonshine still and moonshine hidden under hay bales. A substantial amount of prescription medication was seized along with a firearm.

Lester was not home at the time that law enforcement officers arrived. However, his daughter, Melissa Lester, was arrested.  She has been charged with Operating a Moonshine Still, Cultivating Marijuana, Conspiracy and five counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

Lewis Lester is wanted on four counts of Delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy. Anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of Lewis Lester is asked to contact the McDowell County Sheriff's Office or the West Virginia State Police.

Melissa Lester was arraigned on Aug. 15.  Her bond was set at $75,000. She was taken back to the McDowell County Holding Unit but has since been released on bond. According to Sheriff Martin B. West this has been an ongoing investigation for several months.