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Cleveland drug bust yields 14 arrests and $1.97M in meth

Joshua Dresner By Joshua Dresner, B.A. on December 29, 2017
Cleveland drug bust yields 14 arrests and $1.97M in meth

The combined efforts of law enforcement resulted in multiple arrests and almost $2 million worth of meth being taken off the streets in Cleveland.

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration announced the results of an extensive six-month investigation of a methamphetamine trafficking case on Wednesday, December 27.

According to the police, approximately 24 pounds of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $1.97 million, along with 43 firearms were seized as the search, and arrest warrants were executed.

“Methamphetamine abuse is the major propellant of criminal activity in Cleveland County. This operation has brought to bear tremendous resources from many different agencies, who all share the common goal of absolutely destroying the methamphetamine business,” said Sheriff Alan Norman. He noted that many of those arrested are likely to spend decades in prison.

There have been 14 arrests so far, and the police anticipate that there will be more about the investigation. The individuals arrested include:

  • Alison Michelle Smith – charged with conspire traffic methamphetamine and continuing criminal enterprise and had a $5 million bond issued.
  • Ashlea Hawkins – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and a $1 million bond was issued.
  • Robin Rhyne – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and was issued a $1 million bond.
  • Tonya Mullinax – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and had a $1 million bond issued.
  • Ruben Guzman – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise, and two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and two counts trafficking meth. A $5 million bond was issued for Guzman.
  • Wesley Smith – charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and had a $500,000 bond issued.
  • Andy Green – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise, and two counts of conspiracy to traffic meth. He had a $1 million bond issued.
  • Deidre Pearson – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise, and two counts of conspiracy to traffic meth. A bond of $5 million was issued for Pearson.
  • Joshua Lipe – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise, and two counts of conspiracy to traffic meth, which resulted in a bond being issued of $5 million.
  • Tracey Arnold – charged with aid and abet continuing criminal enterprise, and conspiracy to traffic meth. A $1 million bond was issued for Arnold.
  • Dustin Pearson – charged with conspiracy to traffic meth and had a $1 million bond issued.
  • Dennis Medley – charged with conspiracy to traffic meth and while a bond was issued, the amount is unknown.
  • Roman Guzman – charged with conspiracy to traffic meth and had a $500,000 bond issued.
  • Cody Migala – charged with harboring a fugitive and was held with a $1,000 bond.

There was no information available about upcoming court dates and legal representation for the 14 people arrested. Two Cleveland residences were searched as part of the investigation.

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