By Joe Beck
Members of the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force have arrested seven people on heroin related charges as part of an undercover drug operation.
Lt. Tom Shelton of the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office identified the defendants as Ronald Lee Campbell Jr., 23, of Edinburg; Johnathan Dale Neice, 36, of Edinburg; Dennis Milton Painter, 19, of Junction Road, Strasburg; Jeremy Levi McWilliams, 29, of Star Tannery, James Earl Warren, 26, of Strasburg; and Bruce Albert Jenkins, 21, of Mount Jackson.
Authorities also arrested Jermain Frantz Suber, 37, of Frederick, Md.
Campbell, Neice and Suber are accused of selling heroin. Painter, McWilliams, Warren and Jenkins are accused of trying to obtain the drug.
Shelton said Neice was arrested on Dec. 11; the remaining defendants were arrested on Dec. 13. The arrests came at various times at an undisclosed location in Woodstock that the drug task force had established as a place for controlled drug transactions.
Law enforcement officials seized eight grams of heroin after capturing Suber, Shelton said.
Shelton said the undercover transactions were overseen by the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, Warren County Sheriff's Office, Front Royal Police Department and Strasburg Police Department as part of a larger anti-heroin effort.
"They're conducting the operation to take down suppliers who are doing heroin and trying to get some users who are purchasing heroin," Shelton said of the task force initiative.
In a related matter, McWilliams was charged with assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice after he attempted to escape while deputies were escorting him to the Shenandoah County jail.
Capt. Wesley Dellinger said McWilliams fled on foot for a short distance before a deputy and Woodstock police officer recaptured him. Another deputy received minor injuries to his hand, Dellinger said.
McWilliams is being held without bond in the county jail and is scheduled to appear on Jan. 10 in general district court.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org