LCSO seizes meth, pills, weapon, and cash during arrest of Middlesboro man

Harlan man killed during explosives investigation after attempting to flee custody

A Harlan County man was shot and killed in an alleged altercation with law enforcement on Thursday in the Woodland Hills community.

Officer Shane Jacobs said 39 year old Mark Sawaf of Harlan, was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound. Kentucky State Police Hazardous Devices, along with other departments were in Harlan on Thursday doing a followup investigation involving explosives found in Harlan earlier this year. Sawaf was transported back to Harlan County to aid in locating remaining improvised explosive devices believed to have been deployed in wooded areas near the city of Harlan by Sawaf.

Several improvised explosive devices were located and destroyed at the scene. During the operation, Sawaf attempted to flee custody which prompted an altercation with law enforcement. Capt. Dobrzynski from the Lexington Fire Department was forced to use deadly force on Sawaf, firing his weapon. Sawaf was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy.

the Kentucky State Police are now warning the public of trail cameras that could potentially have been modified as improvised explosive devices. These devices have been identified in Harlan County and anyone who comes in contact with any such device should use extreme caution and report it to the KSP.

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Home in Duffield destroyed by fire due to lightning

A home in Scott County caught fire Sunday evening after a lightning strike hit the house.

Duffield Fire and Rescue and Fort Blackmore Fire Department responded to Sallings Monument Lane in Fort Blackmore at about 6:00 p.m. Sunday night.

Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter says neighbors heard a lightning strike and called 911.

Officials say they believe the fire was started by the lightning strike.

No injuries were reported and no one is living in the single family home at the time, but officials say the house was completely destroyed.

WCSO Weekly Activity Report


August 11, 2016

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activities for the period of 08/01/2016 through 08/07/2016.

Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,608 calls for this seven-day period.
Of the total calls received 359 were dispatched to the Sheriff’s Office
Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 10.
Criminal Process for this period: Served 22 Felony Warrants, 25 Misdemeanor Warrants, 3 DUI Arrest.
Civil Process Served: 462 Civil Papers
Traffic Accidents: 4
4 Additional Criminal Investigations were initiated and 21 Cleared by Arrest.
Sheriff’s Office provided 256 man-hours of Court Room Security.
Unlocked Vehicles: 21
Escorted Funerals: 7

The Sheriff’s Office Total Transport for this period: 2
Total Transport Hours: 12

2,279 Visitors to Courthouse.

Duffield home destroyed by fire

A newspaper carrier spotted a house on fire in Scott County early Sunday morning while delivering papers.

Roger Carter, chief of Duffield Fire and Rescue, said the call came in Sunday shortly before 6 a.m. of a single-family dwelling on fire at 2463 Purchase Ridge Road in Duffield.

In addition to Duffield Fire and Rescue, the Gate City Fire Department, Virginia State Police and Scott County Sheriff's Office also responded.

“No one was home at the time. Upon arrival, (the fire) was already through the roof,” Carter said, adding that the home was destroyed.

Carter said one firefighter suffered from minor heat exhaustion.

Although house fires often happen in the cold weather months because of heat sources, Carter reminded folks a fire can happen any time of the year, and smoke detectors need to always be kept in working order.

“Fires do happen in summer months. A few years back we had more house fires in June and July than we did in December and January. The danger is still there. It’s often lightning strikes that cause house fires in the summer months. But you also have to watch out for other causes in your home, such as candles or stoves,” he said.

Carter said the cause and origin of Sunday's fire is still under investigation.

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Friendship Ambulance now operating under C-Trans Medical Services

The Clifton Companies announced that Friendship Ambulance Service and their crew members will be joining their team operating under the name C-Trans Medical Services.

“I’m excited about Friendship Ambulance Service joining C-Trans Medical Services and continuing to grow The Clifton Companies," Jeffrey Hundman, the CEO of The Clifton Companies said. "Growing C-Trans gives us the opportunity to enhance the service to Wise and Lee County Virginia.”

C-Trans Ambulance Service will continue to provide services to current customers while expanding services to neighboring counties.

C-Trans Medical Services name will replace the current Friendship Ambulance Service lettering on all their fleet.

Friendship Ambulance Service currently has 3 locations; Wise, Big Stone Gap, and Pennington Gap.

Wise County shooting sends two to hospital

On 8-6-2016 at approximately 11:43 p.m. Wise County Central Emergency Dispatch received a call of a domestic incident involving a gun in the Exeter community, near Appalachia, VA, in Wise County. When Deputies arrived they discovered Casey Rae Reed, age 24, outside of a residence with a gun shot wound. Deputies and Appalachia Police Officers were able to safely remove her from the residence and transport her to an awaiting ambulance. The alleged suspect, James Lester Smith, Jr, age 53, had barricaded himself inside the residence.

The Wise County Sheriff's Office Sheriff's Response Team and Crisis Negotiators responded. Mr. Smith would not respond to negotiation attempts. Members of the SRT team entered the residence and located Mr. Smith inside with a self inflicted gun shot wound. He was transported to the hospital and is currently in critical condition. Details of the incident are still under investigation by the Wise County Sheriff's Office.


USP Lee inmate indicted on murder charges while in prison

A man serving a 210 month sentence for felony bank robbery at USP Lee has been indicted for first-degree murder.

Larry Pierce, 33, is charged in the death of 23 year-old Josue Barclay who died of a gunshot wound to the head in April of 2009. Dover Police Department described Mr. Barclay’s death as murder at the time, but identified no suspect and asked for the public’s help in providing information. Pierce was arrested later that month after a traffic stop after two loaded handguns were thrown and recovered during a foot chase with officers. However, there was not enough evidence at the time to bring a charge in the shooting. Continued investigation by Dover Police for approximately seven years uncovered enough evidence to seek an indictment in the murder case.

Pierce is currently being held at USP Lee for bank robberies in Nevada and Delaware. If convicted, Pierce would be extradited to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

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Unmanned aerial systems company to start testing aircraft in Wise

Aurora Flight Sciences has announced it will expand operational testing of its Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft at Wise County’s Lonesome Pine Airport.

The company is hoping to help make Virginia a leader in the unmanned aerial systems industry and establish Wise County as a UAS research, development, and operational hub. Some of the jobs already targeted for the Centaur OPA while based out of Lonesome Pine would include mapping and surveying, predicting and detecting forest fires, performing large area inspections on roads, railroads, power lines and waterways, minerals and vegetation mapping, and conducting emergency-management operations.

Program director Jeff Harlan says, "Wise County would be a great place to expand our capabilities and create jobs."

Flight operations are expected to begin early next year.

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Harlan man wanted in Lee arrested for shoplifting/ wielding weapon

A Harlan man is facing a charge of robbery after allegedly pulling a weapon on store employees after being caught shoplifting.

Scotty Napier, 27, was arrested on Wednesday by Harlan City Police Sgt. Jeff Owens.

According to Owens, police received a call on Tuesday from the manager of Walmart concerning a shoplifting incident.

“We received a call from Paul Meister — who is the manager of Walmart — that a person had been shoplifting, and had pulled a box cutter knife out and took off running out of the store,” Owens said. “They had identified the male as Scotty Napier, who lives on Readymix Road behind Walmart.”

According to Owens, Harlan City Police and the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office began a search for Napier.

“Basically, Napier was caught shoplifting inside the store,” Owens said. “He had stuck some ink cartridges down the front of his pants when he was confronted by their loss prevention team and manager.”

Owens said Napier stated he would give the items back before he pulled the knife.

“He actually took a step back and took out a box cutter knife stating he didn’t want to go to jail,” Owens said. “We took out a warrant because that placed the Walmart employees in fear for their lives. Once he pulled out the knife, they told him the police were coming and he took off running.”

Owens said Napier ran out of Walmart and up into the mountains.

“We looked for him for a few hours yesterday, searching the mountainside,” Owens said. “Later that same day I obtained a warrant for second-degree robbery.”

Owens said police got a tip on Wednesday Napier was walking down U.S. 421, commonly referred to as the bypass.

“I made contact with him in the Woodland Plaza parking lot,” Owens said. “He was arrested without incident.”

Napier was charged with second-degree robbery and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on two full cash bonds totaling $6,000.

Owens mentioned Napier also had active warrants for failure to appear on charges including burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and criminal mischief.

“I was also contacted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, he’s also wanted for felony larceny in Virginia,” Owens said.

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