CHRISTIANSBURG — A man described as a “main seller” in the Icy Roads methamphetamine distribution case pleaded guilty last week in an agreement that would send him to rehab rather than prison.
Clay Tazewell Akers, 32, of Christiansburg, was among 30 people charged in June 2020 as authorities rounded up a Georgia-to-Virginia meth distribution ring. About half have been convicted, one had her charges dropped, and the rest have not yet resolved their parts of the case.
On Tuesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Akers pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute meth, transporting a Schedule II drug into Virginia, and two counts of child abuse or neglect. He was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison, to be suspended after he served eight years.
But under an agreement that defense attorney Naomi Huntington worked out with prosecutors, that eight years was suspended as well on the condition that Akers complete the Recovery Venturing Rehab program, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt wrote in an email after the hearing.
Judge Colin Gibb also imposed $200 in fines.
According to an evidence summary presented in court, Akers’ role in the Icy Roads was largely to sell the meth that Thomas George Belcher Jr., 47, of Elliston, brought from Georgia to the New River Valley. In April, Belcher pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.
Akers and his wife, Kristina June Akers, also 32, “were Belcher’s main sellers, selling for him every day,” said another defendant who became a witness in the case, prosecutors said.
Kristina Akers’ charges have not yet come to trial.
The evidence summary said that from November 2018 to January 2020, according to witnesses, Belcher would go to Georgia two to three times per week to obtain meth that would be distributed in the New River Valley.
Clay Akers told investigators that he used meth and that between August and October 2019, Belcher would bring Akers and his wife a quarter-ounce of meth each week to sell. Akers said that he had gone to Georgia with Belcher to get meth, the evidence summary said.
Another witness said that in July 2019, Belcher brought eight ounces of meth to the Akers’ home to break down into smaller amounts for sale. The Akers’ two young children were in the home, though in a different room, while the drugs were being divided, which led to the child abuse and neglect charge, Pettitt said.
Clay Akers was arrested at the home of another defendant and a bag of meth and drug paraphernalia was found in his car, the evidence summary said.