33 indicted in joint drug operation

Drug round-up

(From left) Giles County Sheriff Kyle Helton, Ardmore Police Chief David Whitt and Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder at the Mobile Command Unit Monday morning in Ardmore during a multi-county roundup.

Thirty-three individuals were indicted on drug charges in Giles County last week following a nine-month long joint investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday morning, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, Giles County Sheriff’s Department, Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, Ardmore Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation united in Ardmore for a round-up of the suspects. 

“Thirty indictments were out of Giles County and three other were state warrants,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder. 

The charges against the individuals are related to their suspected involvement with prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana, the sheriff said.

Sheriff Blackwelder said that it is an unusual situation in the area near Ardmore in that there are four different counties in two states in the area where the investigation took place. Therefore, the round-up involved all the law enforcement agencies in that area. 

None of the suspects cuffed in the round-up will be charged in Lincoln County.

“All the offenses occurred in Giles County,” Blackwelder said.

Suspects were still being booked into the Giles County Jail Monday afternoon at press time.

Individuals charged as of The Times’ press deadline Monday afternoon are as follows:

Theron Lee Chaplin, 20, of Ardmore, was charged with schedule IV violations. He was held on $40,000 bond.

James Brandon Congo, 19, of Toney, Ala., was charged with schedule III drug violations. He was held on $30,000 bond.

Melinda Faye Fletcher, 36, of Elkton, was charged with schedule III drug violations.

Thomas Fletcher, 54, of Elkton, was charged with schedule III drug violations. He was held on $30,000 bond.

Carey Thomas Harwell, 44, of Elkton, was charged with schedule III drug violations. He was held on $30,000 bond.

Melissa Ann Smith, 24, of Ardmore, was charged with schedule IV drug violations. She was held on $85,000 bond.

Trina Lynn Strong, 39, of Ardmore, was charged with schedule III drug violations. She was held on $30,000 bond.

The Times will follow up next week with the names of those booked in after the newspaper’s press time.

 

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm