Drug taskforce cracks down in Galax

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By April Wright, Reporter

Four of the 17 people in Galax and Carroll County arrested last week on multiple state and federal drug charges appeared in U.S. District Court under federal charges on Jan. 10.

Those four federal defendants include Tommy Lamont Jones, Gordon Ray Jones Jr., Danny Lee Peoples and Tony Michael Brown. They are charged with distribution of crack cocaine in the past year.

Authorities have not released the names of the remaining 13 people charged by sealed indictment on state drug charges, or the ages or addresses of the four federal defendants.

An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

After being arrested Jan. 8, the federal defendants were taken to Roanoke, and state defendants were taken to the New River Valley Regional Jail.

All 17 individuals could face additional charges, after consultation in both state and federal court systems.

The arrests were the result of a 12-month drug taskforce investigation, which focused on street-level and major distributors of cocaine in the city of Galax and Twin County area.

Carroll Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Goad, who is in charge of prosecuting the state charges, said he could not release any other details of the investigation. However, he said investigating drug cases is a "continuous process" in the area.

In past drug taskforce investigations, the arrest of one group of dealers and distributors has led to further arrests and charges, as police develop leads and gather evidence.

John Brownlee, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, is in charge of the federal prosecution. A media spokesperson for the attorney's office, Jo Brooks, said she couldn't comment on the case.

The Galax Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency, Virginia State Police, Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Grayson County Sheriff's Office investigated the cases.

Detective Robbie Isom of the Galax Police Department and Special Agent Ronald Williams of the Virginia State Police coordinated the investigation.