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Sixteen people arrested in methamphetamine sting operation in Montgomery County

(WDBJ)
Published: Nov. 5, 2018 at 4:00 PM EST
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Authorities with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office along with Christiansburg Police and other agencies have arrested 16 individuals on multiple charges related to distribution of methamphetamine in Montgomery County.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, authorities have been working for over a year to investigate the distribution of crystal meth throughout the county.

During July through September of 2017, members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office VICE Unit and Christiansburg Police Department conducted multiple controlled purchases of crystal methamphetamine directly from individuals associated with the operation. An investigation revealed that there was one primary source of the methamphetamine, and a group of people were conspiring together to transport and distribute the drugs within Montgomery County.

As a result, 19 people were being sought after by authorities for their roles in the operation. Deputies say they found that Aaron Hixon, 44, was the person supplying the group with the drugs and distributing it in Montgomery County and the New River Valley. After his arrest on an unrelated charge on January 9, 2018, deputies found that the majority of the drugs were being transported from Sylvester, Ga., or Albany, Ga., into Montgomery County.

After a multi-jurisdictional investigation, beginning in April 2018, through October 26, 2018, authorities say four people were arrested on September 5, 2018 and charged with possession of methamphetamine and weapons charges.

Those charged include:

1. Troy Donaghy (1) count of possession of methamphetamine and (1) count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

2. Brandon Keister (1) count of possession of methamphetamine.

3. Thelma Renee Keister (1) count of possession of methamphetamine.

4. Michael Edward Hughes (1) count of possession of firearm while possessing a schedule 2 narcotic, and (1) count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Two more arrests were made on September 18:

1. Renee Woolwine Buckland (1) count possession of methamphetamine and (1)count of possession of firearm while possessing a firearm while possessing a schedule 2 narcotics.

2. Michael Thomas Dowdy (1) count of possession of a schedule 2 narcotic (1) count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

The multi-jurisdictional investigation also revealed that Hixon was at least responsible for 18 trips to Georgia for the purpose of transporting methamphetamine back into Montgomery County from September 1, 2017 through January 9, 2018. Those trips resulted in at least 1022 grams of methamphetamine being brought back to Montgomery County to be distributed, according to authorities.

A Grand Jury issued indictments on 19 people for a total of 66 charges:

1. Aaron Wayne Hixon 44, of Blacksburg was charged with (1) count of operating a continuing criminal enterprise to distribute over 250 grams of methamphetamine (1) count of distribution of methamphetamine (18) counts of transporting over an ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

2. Brandon Michael Keister 31, of Blacksburg was charged with (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine (1) count of conspiracy to transport over an ounce

of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (1) count of transport over an ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

3. Daniel Leonard Price, 46, of Blacksburg (3) counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

4. Harsh Chauhan 22, of Christiansburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

5. Dawnya Marie Sawyers 33, of Christiansburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

6. Ronald Michael Keister 53, of Blacksburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

7. Troy Allen Donaghy 55, of Christiansburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine (2) counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (4) counts of second or subsequent offense distribution of methamphetamine.

8. Michael Thomas Dowdy 53, of Blacksburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine (1) count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

9. Shawn Clinton Santolla 35, of Giles County (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (1)count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (2) counts of transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the

commonwealth.

10. Jason Aaron Fizer 38, of Pilot (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (3)counts of transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

11. Terry Wayne Miller 55, of Giles County (1) count of transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth and (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

12. Heather Renee Hixon 43, of Blacksburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (3) counts of transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

13. Donna Jean Collins 61, of Albany, Georgia (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine.

14. Eric Jon Tollefson 54, of Albany, Georgia (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine.

15. Trista Gale Smith 33, of Blacksburg (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (1) count of conspiracy to transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth (1) count of transport over one ounce of methamphetamine into the commonwealth.

16. Jonathan Michael Smith 45, of Blacksburg, (1) count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

17. Jeremy Braden Elliott 32, of Blacksburg (1) count of distribution of methamphetamine (1) count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute (2) conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

18. Brandon Dale Sweeney 37, of Radford (1) count of conspiracy to distribute over 10 grams of methamphetamine.

19. Alexis Oneill Marie Bentley 23, of Floyd County, (1) count of distribution of methamphetamine.

On November 2, authorities arrested 16 out of the 19 above listed persons.

During the operation in Montgomery County, US Marshal’s in Albany Georgia located and arrested Eric Jon Tollefson and Donna Jean Collins in Albany, Georgia.

During the execution of arrest warrants, the US Marshals located 18 total firearms to include a stolen firearm, a machine gun and over a 1000 rounds of ammunition.

Authorities say charges are pending in reference to the firearms. Donna Collins and Eric Tollefson are pending extradition back to Montgomery County for their charges.

Price, Bentley and Sweeney are still wanted by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.