Bristol Virginia Drug Bust Nets 48 Arrests

By Lewis Loflin. Source Bristol Virginia Police

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May 27, 2014, Bristol Virginia: Once again four-dozen residents in Bristol Virginia face 112 felony drug charges for a wide array of illegal substances. The Narcotics Division was having a busy day involving a number of law enforcement agencies using informants and under cover buyers.

Quoting police,

"Our narcotics division has been working on cases for several months now. It takes a lot of manpower to carry out one of these operations and we called in Virginia State Police to come in and help us with the investigation."

Quoting official reports:

In all, 48 suspects were indicted on a total of 112 charges related to the possession, manufacture, and sale of illegal narcotics. The drugs involved include crack cocaine, suboxone, oxycodone, morphine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and a variety of prescription pills.

Two suspects were charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one also while in possession of Schedule I or II narcotics, and one with distribution of Schedule III narcotics within 1000 feet of a school.

While everyone may cheer more drug dealers off the streets, let's look at what most people tend to ignore. A basic rundown of the suspects reveals the following of the people listed:

24 male, 5 female.

2 firearms charges;
2 methamphetamine;
3 marijuana;
3 cocaine;
19 prescription drugs.

20 - 29 - 7 people;
30 - 39 - 12 people;
40 - 49 - 6 people;
50 and above - 4 people

What are the real costs of the above arrests for what many claim are non-violent offences? I disagree with "non-violent" because most of the violent crime here like elsewhere is drug related. There's even more bad news:

Those from 20-50 should be prime workers in the workforce instead, besides being straddled with drug addiction problems, now have a felony record. They are unemployable.

While not listed in the report children are certainly involved meaning a huge costs in social services. Bristol has among the worse child poverty rates in the sate and a number of children are being raised by grandparents.

While Tennessee gaggles along fighting again over new laws to control meth most of the offences here are for prescription drugs. Prescriptions for Sudafed won't fix that problem.

What's a solution? Jails are very costly and the so-called "war on drugs" is a failure. Drug treatment is expensive and often fails in the long run. The social problems that often lead to this tend to feedback and multiply on itself.

Perhaps we simply need to accept the fact certain people will never change and write them off. Children must be protected and removed from these kinds of household and drug addicts and criminals in general can be given a choice of voluntary sterilization instead of jail for non-violent offences.

Simply legalize drugs and let them die and assure they don't hurt others.

A list of the suspects and their charges is attached:

Vinson, Jonathan C Bristol, VA 22 - Possession of firearm by convicted felon (1)

Moore, Christian A Bristol, VA 22 - Possess of a firearm by convicted felon (Possess of a firearm while possessing Sc, Distribution of oxycodone (2), Distribution of buprenorphine (1)

Muir, Zachary A Bristol, TN 28 Distribute hydrocodone (2)

Nunley, Dwight D Jr. Abingdon, VA - 34 Distribute buprenorphine (2)

Phelps, Leonard L Yuma, TN 32 - Distribution of cocaine (1), Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (1)

Phillips, Justin C Bristol, VA 33 - Distribute hydrocodone (3)

Raines, Heather R Bristol, VA 41 - Distribution of hydrocodone (1)

Raines, Joseph P Kingsport, TN 43 - Distribution of morphine (2)

Rice, Keith O Bristol, TN 41 - Distribute hydrocodone (2)

Rogers, Lacy L Bristol, VA 40 - Distribute methamphetamine (1), Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

Rogers, Sarah V Bristol, VA 53 - Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

Roller, Chad A Bristol, VA 26 - Distribution of cocaine (2)

Roller, Joseph L Johnson City, TN 35 - Distribution of cocaine (1),Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (1)

Saunders, James R Bristol, VA 29 - Possession of Schedule I (alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone) (1)

Scales, Jonathan E Bristol, VA 56 - Distribution of cocaine (2)

Schaepe, Scott P Bristol, VA 33 - Distribution of morphine (3)

Shaffer, Matthew S Bristol, VA 30 - Distribution of morphine (3)

Shaffer, Trista N Bluff City, TN 30 - Distribution of buprenorphine (2)

Shirley, Denise J Bristol, VA 43 - Distribute oxycodone (1)

Smith, Troy M Bristol, VA 42 - Distribute hydrocodone (1)

Spires, Chadwick A Bristol, TN 35 - Distribution of cocaine (1), Distribution of hydrocodone (1)

Thompson, Seth H Bristol, VA 22 - Distribution of marijuana (1), Conspiracy to distribute marijuana (1)

Trivett, Robert A Bristol, VA 55 - Possession of marijuana w/ intent to distribute over 0.5 oz (1)

Underwood, Shyan M Bristol, VA 23 - Distribute buprenorphine (3)

Washington, Rory M Bristol, TN 33 - Distribution of marijuana (1), Conspiracy to distribute marijuana (1), Distribution of hydrocodone (1)

Whitson, Chadcidy D Bristol, VA 35 - Distribute hydrocodone (2)

Whitson, Herbert L Jr. Bristol, VA 38 - Distribute hydrocodone (1),Conspiracy to distribute hydrocodone (1)

Widener, Gregory M L Bristol, VA 25 - Distribute buprenorphine (2),Distribute hydrocodone (1)

Willis, Gregory S Kingsport, TN 37 - Attempt by prisoner to possess sch. III controlled substance (1)

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Allcott and Gentzkow define "fake news" to be "news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false, and could mislead readers." They attempt to exclude disreputable media practices and bias from the definition. 62 percent of US adults get news on social media, while 65% distrust the mainstream media and that concerns me. Print media influence in the 2016 election was down to 8%.

I define "fake news" as articles designed to create false, biased, narratives with partial facts filtered through a Progressive filter, censor pertinent facts by omission, block discussion through editorial censorship, that is ideologically slanted, and designed not to give facts, but stoke emotion and sway public opinion. This skirts the fringes of propaganda and yellow journalism.

Ref. Journal of Economic Perspectives Volume 31, Number 2 Spring 2017 Pages 211-236, Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election by Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow

Sources of 2016 Election News:
Radio: 6.2%
Print: 8%
Social Media: 13.8%

Gallup polls reveal a continuing decline of "trust and confidence" in the mass media "when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly."

Trust in Mainstream media: Democrats 52%, Republicans ~18%, overall ~35%. 65% of the public doesn't trust the mainstream media. 62 percent of US adults get news on social media.