4 arrested on drug charges

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Marijuana eradication nets three arrests, while drug task force charges Galax man with selling cocaine.

By Landmark News Service

INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Sheriff’s Department arrested three individuals last week during its annual marijuana eradication. 


Sheriff Richard Vaughan said a National Guard helicopter was used in the air search for marijuana plants and Virginia State Police assisted ground crews.
Cole Allan Beynon, 49, of Troutdale, was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Vaughan said one marijuana plant was found growing outside his home and a pound of marijuana was recovered inside the home. Also seized from his home was $585 in cash, numerous prescription drugs, a 9mm pistol and a .22-caliber rifle.
Beynon is being held without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin.
Elizabeth Maria Smallwood, 40, and John Mack Caviness, 43, of Holly Ridge Road, Mouth of Wilson, were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.
Vaughan said 14 marijuana plants with a street value of $14,000, were seized at the home of Smallwood and Caviness, along with a .223-caliber rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and plant material.
Both are being held on a $1,000 secured bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail.
Also, sealed indictments were opened against Donald Ray “D.J.” Sawyers, 27, of Galax.
A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury indicted Sawyers on July 23 for distribution of a schedule II drug (cocaine), conspiracy to distribute a schedule II drug and obtaining money by fraud.
Sawyers was arrested by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department and the Twin County Drug Task Force.