High speed chase crosses county lines

In the early morning hours of 3-11-2017 Wise County Dispatch notified deputies that Scott County Sheriff’s Office was in pursuit of a Ford Mustang that was coming into Wise County. Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy, Lt. Jonas Riley and Recruit Deputy Dalton Cress, were in position to take over the pursuit on route 23 as it entered into Wise County. Once behind the fleeing vehicle speeds accelerated in excess of 80mph, and the suspect turned into the town of Big Stone Gap, VA. Speeds continued in excess of 65mph through town and towards Appalachia, VA. As the fleeing vehicle entered into the town of Appalachia, VA, it lost control and spun around while trying to make a left hand turn onto Exeter Road. The vehicle then accelerated forward striking Lt. Riley’s patrol vehicle. The deputies were able to pin the suspect vehicle against a guard rail stopping the pursuit.

The driver, identified as Quintin Matthew Church, age 27 of 1551 Main Avenue West, Big Stone Gap, VA, attempted to then flee on foot. The passenger of the vehicle also attempted to flee on foot. Lt. Riley and Deputy Cress apprehended both suspects. It was determined that the female passenger was a runaway juvenile reported out of Lee County, Virginia. It was also determined that the vehicle had been stolen out of Lee County, VA.
Mr. Church was charged with felony eluding, possession of stolen property, two counts of assaulting law enforcement officers, destruction of property, driving on a suspended license, second offense DUI, refusal of a breath or blood test, abuse/neglect of a child, three counts of reckless driving, possession of a concealed weapon, and obstruction of justice. He is currently being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, VA with no bond. The runway child was turned over to authorities in Lee County, VA.
Sheriff Ronnie Oakes would like to thank Big Stone Gap and Appalachia Police Departments for their assistance with the incident.

MECC receives grant for power lineman traning program

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday that Mountain Empire Community College will receive a $200,000 grant to establish the region's only power lineman training program.

MECC received $950,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission in January to help plan the curriculum for a 15-week program that will train entry level power line workers.

The college plans to work with utility providers in developing the course to fill voids left by retiring baby-boomers and allow for new options to the area after the decline of the coal mining industry.

The Virginia Community College System recently reported that lineman jobs are in high demand with some workers making as much as $71,000 per year.

For more information on the power lineman program, contact Tommy Clements, MECC Dean of Applied Science and Technology at (276) 523.2400 ext. 431 or by email at tclements@mecc.edu.



Good samaritan killed stopping to help another motorist

Police are still investigating a crash that occurred last Thursday, involving a good samaritan who had stopped to help another motorist.

Authorities say 41 year old Jeffrey Sergeant was traveling on Route 58 when a mattress he was carrying fell out of his pickup truck. Noah Burgan, 67, of Jonesville stopped to help when he was struck by 18 year old Asia Ledford of Pennington Gap. A passenger in Sergeant's pickup truck was also struck. Burgan later died from his injuries.

Ledford and the passenger were treated at an area hospital for lesser injuries. Ledford was charged with reckless driving and Sergeant was charged with failure to secure the vehicle load.

Wise man arrested after police follow trail of beer cans

Norton Police say a man was captured after escaping from custody on Saturday after an officer followed a trail of beer cans to his location.

Travis Scott Pratt, 39, of Pound, Virginia fled from officers at the Wise County Justice Center around noon on Saturday.

The Norton officer began pursuing the man on foot, with help from the Wise Police Department and University of Virginia College at Wise Police.

Authorities did not say how the man escaped custody.

Sheriff's Deputy Josh Edmiston was coming to assist when he located the vehicle driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed on Christmas Lane.

Edmiston advised the Sheriff's Office that a large amount of empty beer cans were in the truck bed.

Local citizens alerted deputies that the vehicle was then traveling near Lonesome Pine Airport and Edmiston was able to follow the trail of beer cans.

Police said the vehicle’s driver noticed the deputy and fled again, driving through several yards and then back onto the highway before jumping from the moving vehicle and fleeing on foot. Edmiston pursued the man on foot and was able to take him into custody.


Herald Courier

The Appalachia Fire Department responded to a call last Thursday to assist a neighboring department on a house fire on Wilson Road in Keokee.

A Facebook post from Appalachia Fire Department Company 3 said fire crews responded to the fire call around 2:45 p.m. to assist the Keokee Fire Rescue firefighters already on-scene and the fire was reportedly put out in a few minutes.

According to the post, the fire was contained to one room in the home, and that people were reported to be inside the home at the time of the fire, but no injuries were reported.

A few Cats and puppies were reportedly trapped inside the home during the fire and KFR firefighters were able to rescue some of the animals. According to AFD, some of the cats died from smoke inhalation.

AFD Company 3 firefighters helped revive some puppies by using a breathing device designed for babies to get their noses clear of soot.

While the home was not destroyed in the fire, the homeowners were said to be displaced and staying with relatives.

WCSO arrest three on drug charges

On March 2, 2017 Wise County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a domestic call at 113 Rabbit Road Lot 4B in Ponderosa Trailer Park in Big Stone Gap, VA . Upon arrival deputies discovered several items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine inside of the residence. Lisha Ann Hamilton, age 51, Shawn Dwayne White, age 37, and Anna Renee Duncan, age 28, were arrested on scene and charged with possession of methamphetamine precursors, attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, conspire to manufacture methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jimmy Marcus Bush, age 66, was also charged, but fled the scene prior to deputies arrival. He is currently wanted on the felony charges. All three individuals were placed in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, VA.

WCSO Weekly Activity Report


March 2, 2017

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activities for the period of 02/20/2017 through 02/26/2017.

Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,613 calls for this seven-day period.
Of the total calls received 292 were dispatched to the Sheriff’s Office
Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 6.
Criminal Process for this period: Served 17 Felony Warrants, 24 Misdemeanor Warrants, 0 DUI Arrests.
Civil Process Served: 318 Civil Papers
Traffic Accidents: 9
7 Additional Criminal Investigations were initiated and 14 Cleared by Arrest.
Sheriff’s Office provided 252 man-hours of Court Room Security.
Unlocked Vehicles: 16
Escorted Funerals: 11

The Sheriff’s Office Total Transport for this period: 9
Total Transport Hours: 41

2,009 Visitors to Courthouse.

Early morning traffic stop leads to arrest, seizure of drugs

A traffic stop on Wednesday morning has led to the arrest of a fugitive and the discovery of illegal drugs.

Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons reports that sheriff's deputy Chris Dillman stopped a suspicious vehicle near Wal-Mart outside of Jonesville. Dilman found the driver of the vehicle to be 24 year old Megan Elizabeth Robinette of 21 Sycamore Avenue West Big Stone Gap. Upon checking further, he found that Robinette was wanted on a capias from Carrol County.

According to Parsons a search of the vehicle revealed the possession of marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, and pills.

Parsons said Robinette was arrested and charged with capias from Carroll County, three counts of possession of a schedule I controlled substance, giving a false identity to law enforcement, possession of drug paraphernalia, 3 counts of possession of a schedule III drug and possession of marijuana. She is being held in the Duffield Regional Jail without bond.

Parsons added that Dilman was assisted at the scene by Sergeant Travis Mullins of the Jonesville Police Department, and officer Denver Scholl of the Pennington Gap Police Department. Parsons thanks both agencies and their officers for their work.

WCSO offering ride along program for teens

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Man sentenced for attempting to bring meth to inmates at USPLee

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty last year to trying to bring meth to inmates at USPLee.

44-year-old Jermaine Calvin Jeffries received the sentence Monday. Authorities said he conspired with others to provide inmates with meth as well as other drugs, including Suboxone and marijuana.