Vaughan, 3 others charged in drug conspiracy

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

ROANOKE — The investigation into illegal drugs that led to charges against a 53-year-old Galax man also snared three other suspects, two of them from Carroll County.
Donald Scott Vaughan allegedly left the scene of a drug buy — set up by the Claytor Lake Drug Task Force near Exit 14 off Interstate 77 in Carroll last April — before the purchase could take place.

The chase continued at speeds up to 100 mph through Carroll County until Vaughan pulled into a residence and officers took him into custody there after finding him hiding in the woods.
Federal prosecutors lumped Vaughan into a case with three other men, charging them all with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture or a substance containing methamphetamine, a Schedule II drug.
The others charges include Jesse William Grayson, a 36-year-old man from Carroll County; Bobby Lewis Alderman, a possible resident of Carroll County; and Charles Robert Dean Caviness, a 31-year-old Barren Springs resident, according to federal court records.
The federal indictment also accuses Vaughan of four counts of distribution of meth; five counts of distribution against Caviness; and one count against Grayson.
Alderman has already entered a guilty plea to the conspiracy charge, according to court records.
In the sentencing phase, scheduled for Oct. 22, Alderman faces a maximum fine of $4 million and up to life in prison.
The minimum sentence that Alderman could receive is imprisonment for 10 years.
The other cases continue to make their way through the criminal justice system. Vaughan has challenged the validity of a search by authorities of his home at 28 Spring Trace Lane.
Vaughan has requested the court "suppress evidence illegally obtained in violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," according to court records.
The search of Vaughan's home led to the seizure of suspected meth and a firearm.
But defense attorney John Edwards of Roanoke argued that police did not have sufficient probable cause to search the home or enough evidence to connect the items found to Vaughan.
While officers said they had confidential informants who witnessed quantities of meth on prior occasions in Vaughan's home, that had been months before the April search, Edwards argued. The time elapsed between the reports of prior drug dealing and the search makes this information "stale" and inadequate for the court to admit the items seized as evidence in the case, the defense attorney argued.
Two women lived in the home at the time of the search, suggesting the items found at the home were not Vaughan's, Edwards argued.
"Nor was the residence involved in any of the acts surrounding the set up for and arrest of the defendant on April 15, 2010," the defendant's motion to suppress states. "And the search was not incident to the defendant's arrest as the arrest was at a complete different location and far from the residence."
No hearing before a judge has been scheduled on the motion to suppress.
Another defendant, Grayson, sought a decision on his competency to stand trial.
After reviewing a psychiatric evaluation, the court ruled in August that the defendant was indeed competent and his case could proceed.