In January, new Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy vowed to fight the growing drug problem. On Monday, his department, along with the West Virginia State Police and the Weston Police Department took strides to do just that.
"We apprehended 14 individuals who had been dealing narcotics in our county since January," said Sheriff Gissy.
They got a 15th person later in the day. The men, women and one juvenile were arrested on a variety of charges.
"The individuals we arrested today had a wide array of drugs that they were delivering - meth, heroin, and then your prescription drugs, as well as marijuana so it was kind of just a plethora of drugs," said Sheriff Gissy.
The arrests were good news to citizens in the county.
"As a citizen and a mother, I'm very pleased that they are fighting this drug crime and going out and arresting the individuals that are making the drug labs or selling drugs, that kind of thing and I know the citizens of Lewis County probably feel the same way that I do," said Commissioner Agnes Queen.
This bust will cost the county some money since they do have to pay for the men and women to be housed behind bars; however, commissioners say that's OK because it's getting the drugs off the streets.
"It's $48.50 per person, per day that's in the jail," said Queen.
That money is set aside. While the jail bill may keep rising, commissioners are happy to see the police cleaning up the county.
"Most crimes can be attributed to drug and alcohol abuse so we definitely need to step up to the plate and continue what we're doing," said Queen.
Sheriff Gissy said that's exactly what they'll keep doing.
"We want to send a message loud and clear to the citizens of Lewis County that we're actively out here trying to curtail and eradicate drugs and we want to send a message to those drug dealers that it's not going to be stood for and 'if you're dealing, then we're watching,'" he said.
The commissioners are actually setting aside more money than usual in the budget for the jail bill because of the rising number of arrests.
List of Arrested Adults:
- Kyle Joseph Hayhurst: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (heroin, two counts)
- Richard Glenn Hayhurst III: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (heroin, two counts)
- Brian Gene Curtis: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (meth)
- Shane Michael Jeffries: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (meth, three counts)
- Debbie Lou Curtis: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (meth)
- Jamie Lee Wright II: Delivery of a Controlled Substance ( marijuana, two counts)
- Betty Sue Weimer: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone, Clonazepam)
- Justin Tyler McGuire: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone, Alprazolam)
- Raymond Joseph Roselle: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (marijuana, two counts)
- Melissa Lynn Neal: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone)
- Thomas Eugene Taylor: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone)
- Justin Lee Marks: Delivery of a Controlled Substance (meth, three counts)