• 37°

Six arrested on drug charges

Six Lawrence County residents are awaiting an Oct.

Saturday, October 16, 1999

Six Lawrence County residents are awaiting an Oct. 20 preliminary hearing after pleading not guilty to the drug-related charges that led to their arrests this week.

Lawrence County Sheriffs Department deputies staged undercover drug buying operations to catch the suspects on charges ranging from trafficking in drugs to conspiracy to kidnapping, Chief Deputy Jim Cochran said.

"This stems from a long investigation involving an undercover operative," Cochran said. "We did make undercover drug buys from all the subjects who were arrested."

Three arrests at each of two homes, one in Chesapeake and one in Proctorville, brought in six county residents on charges of trafficking in drugs, Cochran said.

Some, but not all, of the arrests were related to information obtained in the same investigation that uncovered more than $300,000 in drugs and stolen property earlier this week, Sheriff Roy Smith said.

Items recovered at the scenes included high-powered rifles, marijuana and oxycodon, a strong analgesic pain reliever sold on the streets for between $25 and $60 per pill.

"At the McMaster’s residence, our undercover operative purchased 48 oxycodon pills for $1,200, which makes it a Felony 2 charge," Cochran said. The maximum penalty is 15 years, he said.

In Chesapeake, Roger D. Burress not only sold drugs to the undercover deputy, he also attempted to hire the officer for a kidnapping in West Virginia, Cochran said.

The following individuals were arraigned in Lawrence County Municipal Court Friday in connection with the two drug raids:

– Roger D. Burress, 764 County Road 3, Chesapeake, pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking in drugs and conspiracy to kidnapping. He was remanded to the Lawrence County Jail and held on a $100,000 cash bond.

– Dennis R. McMaster, 355 Township Road 303, Proctorville, pleaded not guilty to charges of drug abuse and trafficking in drugs. He was remanded to the county jail and held on a $50,000 cash bond.

– Tina F. McMaster, 355 Township Road 303, Proctorville, pleaded not guilty to a charge of trafficking in drugs and was remanded to the county jail. She was held on a $25,000 cash bond or $50,000 property bond.

– Jason Rice, 355 Township Road 303, Proctorville, pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking in drugs and drug abuse. Rice was remanded to the county jail and held on a $5,000 cash bond.

– Tommy J. Wilson, 764 County Road 3, Chesapeake, pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking in drugs and illegal sale of a firearm. He was remanded to the county jail and held on a $10,000 cash bond.

At this time, the investigation is ongoing and other arrests are pending at this time through the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the Lawrence County Drug Taskforce, Cochran said.