Wise man wanted for abduction arrested

A man wanted in Wise was arrested Sunday after police found him hiding in a basement.

According to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to Sheffield Apartments in Coeburn on a call of an attempted breaking and entering. The suspect had fled on foot when police arrived.

Deputies, along with help from St. Paul police and their K9, found Anthony Dwayne Aziz, 35, hiding in the basement of a nearby home. Aziz was already wanted on charges from a Saturday incident. Aziz is a suspect in a case of abduction and attempted malicious wounding that had occurred at Sheffield Apartments that day.

Wise County dispatch received a 911 hang up call at the apartments on Saturday and when deputies arrived, Aziz had fled. After an investigation and interview of witnesses, warrants were obtained for attempted malicious wounding, four counts of abduction, two counts of preventing use of 911, and trespassing.

Aziz is currently being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield without bond.

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PGPD seize marijuana

On June 16th, 2016 Sergeant Kennedy with the Pennington Gap Police Department seized approx. 1 pound of Marijuana with an estimated street value of $1,100.00  Charges are currently pending.


Man faces life in prison after death of toddler


For Immediate Release

June 20, 2016


Franklin Len Mullins, age 44 of 8845 Maple Lane Pound, VA was arrested on June 16, 2016 by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office on charges of child abuse and neglect, felony murder, and second degree murder. If found guilty on these charges he faces a sentence of life in prison.  He is currently being held at Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, VA with no bond.

These charges resulted from a joint investigation by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, and Virginia State Police from an incident that occurred in August 2015 in Pound, VA.  A five month old child, which was in the custody of Mr. Mullins, was admitted to Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, TN. The child passed away several days later as a result of non-accidental head trauma.

Wise County Sheriff Ronnie Oakes and Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp are committed to protecting all children from abuse in any form.  Sheriff Oakes states, “Crimes committed against our children will not be tolerated.  They are innocent, helpless victims, and those who wish to hurt them must be brought to justice.”

2nd Annual Pennington Gap Fire Department Freedom Ride this Saturday



*Date: June 25th 2016  

*Time: Registration–8am-9:45am

Departure—10am sharp

*Price: $20 per person, Price will include a hotdog dinner, a tee shirt with pre registration, and a ticket for door prize drawings.

*Location: Meet at the Pennington Gap Fire department and prepare for a 100 mile scenic bike ride through the mountains of South West Virginia.

*This is a family oriented event, NO ALCOHOL, all Va laws will be obeyed.

*The Town of Pennington Gap nor the Pennington Gap Volunteer Fire Department will be responsible for any injuries or damages during this fund raising event.

*To pre register contact Chris Collins 276-275-9882, Brandon Woodard 276-870-5036, or Charles Hylton 276- 393-2756, Or contact VIA Facebook on Pennington Gap Fire Department’s Facebook page.

*Pre registration required by June 20th to guarantee a tee shirt


Big Stone officer arrested for rape

A Big Stone Gap police officer has been arrested on multiple counts of rape, incest and sexual battery.

Oliver W. Mullins, 31, Pound, Va., was arrested without incident on June 17 after a Virginia State Police investigation requested by the Wise County Sheriff's Office.

Mullins is charged with three counts of rape, three counts of incest, once count of forcible sodomy, one count of grooming, 20 counts of indecent liberties and 20 counts of aggravated sexual battery.

The victim is reportedly under the age of 13.

The investigation into Mullins was initiated by VSP in April of this year. A Wise County grand jury handed down the charges.

He is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.

According to Big Stone Gap Police Chief Steve Hamm, via a VSP press release, Mullins has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the judicial process.

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Myers to take over as TW basketball coach

Thomas Walker assistant principal Mark Long confirmed Friday that Jerry Myers will be at the helm of the Pioneers' boys basketball program when the 2016-2017 season tips off.

Myers spent 29 of his 30 years as an educator and coach in Virginia in the Lee County school district. Myers was a standout player at Powell Valley High School and a long-time girls and boys coach at Pennington and Lee high schools.

Volunteer will now begin the search for just the fourth girls basketball coach in the school's history.

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Fatal crash in Wise County

According to a press release from Corinne N. Geller, Virginia State Police public relations director, VSP Master Trooper J.D. Anderson responded to the crash shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday.

The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of Route 23 near the 50 mile marker. A vehicle that had been traveling south on Route 23 crossed into the northbound lanes and crashed. There was one confirmed fatality, according to the release.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

All northbound lanes of Route 23 were cleared and re-opened to traffic by 6:40 p.m.

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3 men charged for killing an elk in Buchanan County

Three men in Southwest Virginia are facing jail-time and major fines for animal poaching, accused of killing newly restored elk.

More than one-million-dollars was spent reintroducing the herd to the War Fork area of the county back in 2012. Killing them in Buchanan County, Wise County, and Lee County is illegal. Officers want the crime punished to the fullest extent of the law.

A couple months ago, conservation officer Sgt. Jamie Davis said the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries began an investigation into poaching, after a bull elk's body was found abandoned without it's head.Three men were charged with killing  two elk and two calves. Charges against Nelson Drummond include killing an elk, shooting wildlife from a vehicle, and killing elk with the use of lights. Charges against Joseph Deel and Derek Deel include killing a deer with aid of lights, conspiring with another to kill elk, and conspiring with another in wanton waste of an animal. All three face jail-time and $25,000 in fines and replacement fees for the animals.

Sgt. Davis said investigators used surveillance video, but help from area sportsman were the key to the investigation.

"These are not hunters," he said, "I want the hunters to know. Hunters do not shoot animals and leave them laying. This is definitely poachers."

Boyd is the chair of the Southwest Virginia Coalfield chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He was part of the organization when it donated $300,000 to help get the 71 elk into the area at about $15,000 a piece. He believes the replacement fees don't cover the money and efforts spent getting them in the area.

Replacement fees for an elk are $5,000, $7,500 for a bull with two-points or more.

The goal for the elk is to grow the herd to about 400, then institute a lottery system for hunters to keep the herd healthy and at a manageable number.

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Wise County man charged in death of 5-month-old

A Pound, Virginia, man faces murder charges in connection with the death of a 5-month-old child.

On Wednesday, a Wise County grand jury charged Franklin Mullins, 44, with child abuse and neglect, second-degree murder and felony murder.

"Franklin Len Mullins did unlawfully and feloniously while being a parent, guardian or a person responsible for the care of a child under 18 years of age, cause or permit serious injury to the life or health of such child by a willful act, omission or refusal to provide necessary care," the indictment for child abuse states.

According to an obituary, the child, Ryan Len Mullins, died on Aug. 17, 2015. He listed as Franklin Mullins' infant son.

Ryan Mullins had a twin brother and the two were inseparable, the obituary states.

"Ryan was very observant, always paying attention to what was around him," the obituary states. "He was a very playful, active and happy baby. Ryan loved stuffed animals, especially his puppy he sang to. He loved to watch Captain America on TV and going outside and fishing with his parents. His Mommy and Daddy loved and cherished him and look forward to joining Ryan and Frank in Heaven."

Mullins was arrested Thursday and is being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield.


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VDOT six year plan includes Pennington Gap bypass

The Virginia Department of Transportation has approved a six year improvement plan, costing more than $14 billion for construction, maintenance and rail.

$588 million will be funded to Southwest Virginia.

The six-year plan will have an effect on 12 counties in the region.

Funding will be spent on current and future developments.

In Lee County, 13 projects are expected to be completed by 2022, including construction of a Pennington Gap bypass estimated to cost more than $137 million.

VDOT hopes to minimize traffic jams by beginning with high traffic areas, but it will likely be 2022 before all projects are complete.