43 People Arrested/Indicted for Drugs Spend Thanksgiving in Jail
by Lewis Loflin
Just a day or two before Thanksgiving 43 local residents are in or looking at prison. Two couples, one in Kingsport Tennessee and another in Glade Spring Virginia were nailed for meth labs in their homes. This led to one couple losing their 3-year-old son. Another 39 got drug indictments for mostly selling prescription drugs. This is just a sample of the out of control drug epidemic in this area shown below. This is a white and not black problem that's getting as bad as the worse inner city ghetto.
Kingsport Couple Busted for Making Methamphetamine. The Kingsport Police Department raided a residence after a tip about drug activity at a trailer court on 417 Barnett Drive. The home of Mark Pruitt, 41 and Leah Dalton, 19 was the target of the raid. The couple had been previously arrested on drug charges in August at Ms. Dalton's home. They are in jail again for Thanksgiving. They were operating another meth lab and Mr. Pruitt admitted to police "he had bought the materials at Wal-Mart with the intention of producing meth, but he had not completed the cook."
Police found "a trash can outside was allegedly piled high with the makings of a methamphetamine operation: stripped lithium batteries, drain cleaner, bottles of camp fuel, coffee filters, plastic bottles." Both Pruitt and Dalton were arrested and charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances are stored/used/sold and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ref. Kingsport Police Dept. and the Kingsport Times-News November 23, 2011.
Young Glade Spring Couple nailed for Meth, lose child. Heather Dawn Boone, 21, and David Aaron Jackson, 27 will be spending Thanksgiving in jail without their 3-year-old son. Washington County VA. deputies acting on a tip busted the couple for making meth in their home. While little meth was found they believed meth had been made there for some time. The tip came from retailers because they were purchasing precursors from local pharmacies.
Also taken was a car being used to sell drugs and also face weapons charges. To quote the press:
(they) were both charged with abuse or neglect of a child, possession of precursors with the intent to make meth, conspiring to make meth, making meth and conspiring to sell or distribute meth. Boone was additionally charged with possession of a firearm during the manufacture, sale or distribution of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon.
Ref. BHC November 22, 2011. On the very same day they reported the Glade Spring arrests the Bristol Virginia Grand Jury indicted 39 people on 102 drug charges. I broke the information down and here is what I found based on location, race, and age:
24 live in/around public housing projects;
31 were involved in selling prescription drugs, the most popular was Suboxone.
Conclusion: this is an overwhelmingly white problem clustered heavily around 30-45 age group clustered in/around public housing projects. Nearly all are of working age and if employed now (not likely), will be made more unemployable with a criminal record. Most employers already use drug tests and complain about the problems of finding employees in this region drug free enough to hold a job.
With little or no drug treatment available and even though these might be non-violent offenses, they often escalate to more violent offenses. That doesn't even account for the impact on children. Bristol according to reports has had a large uptick in crime clustered around, you guessed it, public housing.
In a closing note the area has recently instituted drug courts. These allow non-violent offenders a chance to saty out of jail and work towards cleaning up their act.
Bristol City Adult Drug Court
There are 29 Drug Courts in Virginia. See www.vdca.net
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