ACSO: 10 arraigned in federal, state court on narcotics charges

Michael A. Horton, Drew H. Hoffman, Ashely D. Walker, Kellie E. Wolfe, Christopher B. Walters, Michael G. Mash, Michelle E. Sole, Kelvin C. Faw, Sandra D. Roop and Ivan H. Moore.

Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell announced on Oct. 11 the interruption of a complex and far-reaching narcotics trafficking network based in Ashe County.

According to Howell, the federal conspiracy began and ended in Ashe County with 10 individuals being arraigned in federal and state court. “Horton Hears a Who” is the operation name for the conspiracy named by local and federal investigating agencies assigned to this case.

“The investigation began in December of 2018 jointly between the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation,” Howell said. “After a few months, many local agencies joined forces to assist ACSO in the entire investigation. West Jefferson Police Department, Jefferson Police Department, Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkesboro Police Department, North Wilkesboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives played a huge part in bringing our investigation closer to being finished.”

“Our narcotics detectives have dedicated an enormous amount of their time to this investigation over the past 11 months,” Howell said. “While our endgame is to remove as many drugs as possible off the streets of Ashe County, we also want to ensure that we present our court system and the federal court system with a solid case that will provide the maximum sentence to keep these individuals off our streets.”

The investigation has so far netted the arrests of 10 suspects. Seven of the suspects have been arraigned in federal court in Charlotte, with three of the suspects facing pending state charges, and the removal of drugs, guns and drug money from Ashe County.

Arrested in the operation on federal charges

Michael Anthony Horton, 49, of Jefferson, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (two counts).

Drew Hastings Hoffman, 45, of Lansing, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine (two counts), Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Ashely Dawn Walker, 32, of Lansing, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime (two counts).

Kellie Elizabeth Wolfe, 23, of Jefferson, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

Christopher Barry Walters, 43, of Jefferson, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

Michael Gwyn Mash, of Lansing, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine.

Michelle Ellison Sole, of Warrensville, for Conspiracy to Traffic 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

Kelvin Chad Faw, 43, of Crumpler, for Sale of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, Deliver Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic more than 400 grams of Methamphetamine.

Sandra Dawn Roop, of Lansing, for Sale of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, Deliver Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling for the Sale of Drugs.

Ivan Hansel Moore, of Wilkesboro, for Sale of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, Deliver Methamphetamine.

Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, a group of five news newspapers, six websites and one monthly periodical in the High Country of North Carolina.

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