News

Former Marion, Virginia Police Chief Pleads Guilty to
Drug Conspiracy Charge

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 15, 2013

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- - United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy announced today that the former Chief of Police in Marion, Virginia pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to a charge involving the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Michael Dean Roberts, a.k.a., “Fireball”, age 54, of Saltville, Va., entered a plea of guilty to a one-count Information charging conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Roberts faces a potential maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $1,000,000.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee, Roberts was involved in the distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and hydrocodone between 2006 and June 2013, all while employed as the Chief of Police of the Marion, Virginia Police Department. As part of a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virginia State Police, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement officers utilized a confidential informant to obtain hydrocodone pills from Roberts on three separate occasions in May and June of 2013.

The investigation determined that Roberts was involved in the distribution of at least 7,331 hydrocodone pills, 365 grams of methamphetamine, and small amounts of cocaine and oxycodone. The investigation further determined that Roberts used his position as chief of police to obtain some of these drugs from the Marion Police Department evidence room.

Sentencing has been set for October 9, 2013 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee is prosecuting the case for the United States.

 

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