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Police flush out drugs at Independence motel

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By Larry Chambers, Staff

Five suspects have been arrested on drug charges at a Grayson County motel.
Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said in a news release that county deputies recently observed suspicious activity during the early morning hours at Grayson Inn & Suites on Rainbow Circle in Independence.
Cpl. Alan Graham, along with deputies Jordan Johnson and Eric Testerman and drug-sniffing dog Gauge, investigated the case further.

Vaughan said that, while conducting exterior sniffs of motel room doors, Gauge gave a positive alert for the odor of narcotics coming from one of the hotel rooms. Investigator Adam Horton obtained a search warrant for the room.
While knocking on the door, officers heard the sound of running water and the commode flushing. Once inside the motel room, it was determined that the commode was stopped up.
Vaughan said the commode was removed by members of the Grayson County Maintenance Department, and three ounces of methamphetamine were recovered.
The Twin County Drug Task Force responded to the motel to assist with the investigation.
According to Vaughan, the investigation netted the arrest of five subjects, the seizure of three ounces of meth, seizure of prescription medication and drug paraphernalia and more than $1,200 in cash.
Five suspects were arrested and transported by the New River Valley Regional Jail, including:
• Bradley Evan Cox, 31, of Powerhouse Road, Independence
• Timothy Eric Clontz, 33, and Angela Danielle Clontz, 30, both of Gooseberry Lane in Fries
• Tara Danette Kennedy, 34, Old Quaker Road, Galax
• Tabitha Rose Phipps, 33, Beaver Dam Road, Independence.
Cox was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a schedule II drug (meth), the Clontzes each were charged with attempted possession of a controlled substance, Kennedy was charged with one count of possession of a schedule II drug, and Phipps was charged with one count of attempting to sell schedule III narcotics.
“I would like to commend everyone involved with this case,” Vaughan said. “Everyone from the initial officer that started the investigation to the members of the Twin County Drug Task Force that investigated the case further did an outstanding job.”
Vaughan also commented that he hoped a new bill now before the General Assembly would pass.
House Bill 676 would raise the punishment for possession with the intent to distribute more than 28 grams of methamphetamine to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.