TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — A total of 111 individuals were indicted on Sept. 18, 2020 for drug-related charges by a Special Grand Jury session in Tazewell County. This comes after a year-long investigation among the Tazewell County Narcotics Task Force, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Richlands Police Department, Tazewell Police Department, Bluefield Police Department, Virginia State Police, and the County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told 59News this investigation put a dent in rising drug-related issues in the county.
“This is a larger indictment than what we’ve seen in the past. I think the drugs are there, it just shows how hard that the drug task force is working on battling this and on charging people,” Hieatt said.
One trend they noticed while conducting this investigation is the drugs of choice. Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Plaster said more methamphetamine and heroin are being found than any other drugs right now. Plaster said these drugs come from out of state and they are working to find the source.
“Typically, we will see heroin cut with fentanyl which makes it extremely dangerous and puts the user at very high risk for overdose. But as indicated, we’re also seeing methamphetamine now, cut with fentanyl, and that’s even more dangerous. It’s unbelievably dangerous,” Plaster said.
Plaster told 59News they are also noticing a spike in overdoses in the area. Plaster said hopefully this investigation will prevent even more overdoses from happening.
Sheriff Hieatt said it also cleans up the community and makes Tazewell County a safer place to live.
“These officers are working very hard, we’re working as a large group together to make sure Tazewell county is cleaned up from drugs,” Hieatt said.