CHRISTIANSBURG — An Ironto man’s guilty plea last week brought the latest conviction in Montgomery County’s Icy Roads methamphetamine case, in which 30 people were accused of taking part in a drug ring that stretched from Elliston to Georgia.
Kenneth Wayne Raines, 65, was in the county’s Circuit Court to plead guilty to two felony charges of possessing a Schedule II drug. He said that he realized the charges each carry potential sentences of 10 years behind bars. Defense attorney I.D. Caudill of Salem said Raines had rejected a plea agreement offered by prosecutors because he thought it would be better just to plead guilty and let Judge Mike Fleenor sentence him. Fleenor scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 10.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Rachel Shrader said that investigators found that Thomas George Belcher Jr., a 46-year-old Elliston resident accused of being a central figure in bringing meth from Georgia to Montgomery County, sold the drug from Raines’ home in the 1700 block of Garlick Road. Law enforcement officers who searched the house found meth, Shrader said.
Also, when Raines was arrested in June on the earlier possession charge, a sheriff’s deputy searched him and found a bag of crystalline substance in his wallet. Raines asked the deputy to get rid of it, Shrader said. Lab tests showed the substance was meth.
Fleenor stopped the prosecutor and asked if he’d heard correctly that the defendant tried to have an officer discard drug evidence.
“Mere suggestion, judge,” Caudill said quickly.
“Looks like it didn’t work,” Fleenor observed.
Belcher and most of the other Icy Roads defendants have not yet resolved their charges, but those convicted so far include:
Christopher Neal Edmondson, 27, who has a Dublin address listed in court records and who was found guilty of conspiring to distribute more than 10 grams of meth. Edmondson was sentenced to serve five years in prison with another 25 years suspended, and fined $250.
Michelle Dawn Smith, 37, of Christiansburg, was found guilty of four drug conspiracy charges, a distribution charge, and a charge of transporting drugs into Virginia. She was sentenced to serve five years and to pay restitution of $4,978.
Marcus Sentell Robinson, 37, of Macon, Georgia, described as the Georgia end of the Icy Roads meth ring, was convicted of conspiring to distribute the drug and was sentenced to serve five years and fined $250.
William Edward David Rose, 23, of Christiansburg, was found guilty of two counts of possessing drugs and was sentenced to serve one month and 15 days.
Matthew Todd Coleman, 34, of Christiansburg, was found guilty of four counts of drug distribution, one count of conspiring to distribute drugs, and one count of possessing drugs, and was sentenced to serve four years.