Addiction Treatment

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

Call 800-926-9037 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor. Who Answers?

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.

How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Addictions.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Addictions.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.