Operation Rattlesnake: Undercover Drug Op Bites 30 People on 70 Charges in Avery County

Published Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 9:51 am

The Avery County Sheriff’s Office has conducted Operation Rattlesnake, an undercover drug operation which has taken place over an eight month period. Operation Rattlesnake was named as law enforcement is attempting to get those spreading poison out from hiding and brought to the light of justice.

The Avery County Sheriff’s Office could not have conducted or executed such an operation without the cooperation and assistance of many other agencies. The agencies which assisted were the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police Department, Banner Elk Police Department, Beech Mountain Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Operation Rattlesnake has been successful in warrants being taken on 30 different people with over 70 charges being brought thus far.

* The charges listed are not a complete list of all charges but are the higher-class felonies.

Also charges are in the process of being served on people who during the operation were sentenced to the NC Department of Corrections. (no photos available at this time)

Derek Laws – DOC – Conspire Sell/Deliver Sch II x 4, Habitual Felon

Kelly Hunt – DOC – Conspire Sell Methamphetamine, Maintain a Vehicle for CS

Matthew Stegall – DOC – PWISD Sch III, PWISD Marijuana

Law enforcement is still trying to apprehend some of those offenders. Those taken into custody were:

Wendy Wise Ledford – Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Schedule IV, Habitual Felon

Tonnie Chandler – Conspire Sell Schedule II Controlled Substances

Steven McGee- Possession with Intent to Manufacture Sell or Deliver Schedule II controlled substances X2

Patricia Zahn- Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Schedule III

Molly Thomas- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver marijuana and harboring a fugitive.

Michael Turbyfill- Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Marijuana

Melody Edminson- Trafficking in Opium or Heroin

Megan Dear- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana X2

Kassandra Allen- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule II controlled substances

Joshua Brewer- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule II controlled substances X2

Johnathan Warren- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule III controlled substances

Heather Woodie- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule II controlled substances X4

Gary White- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana

Douglas Metcalf- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule II and III controlled substances and Habitual Felon

Demi Hicks- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule III X3 and possession to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana

Bridget Mitchell – Conspire Sell Schedule II Controlled Substances

William Cook- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule II controlled substances

Tony Kelly – Conspire to Sell Methamphetamine, Conspire to Sell Sch II

Tayna Ledford- Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Schedule III

Craig Wise – PWISD Sch II, PWISD Sch IV, Habitual Felon

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