Three month investigation targeted subjects involved in manufacturing, trafficking methamphetamines
January 28, 2011 — On Thursday, law enforcement officers from several WNC agencies that participated in “Operation Ice Melt” arrested numerous suspects on drug related charges.
During the course of this investigation 18 individuals were targeted for assisting in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Charges include conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Agencies that participated in the three month investigation were the Macon County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, the Jackson and Swain County Sheriff’s Offices and the NC State Bureau of Investigation. In addition, the D.E.A Asheville Office, 30th District Attorney’s Office, Haywood & Clay County Sheriff’s Offices, NC Probation & Parole and the Cherokee Indian Police also provided assistance.
While each agency has jurisdictional boundaries, law enforcement officers understand that criminals have no boundaries and that fighting drugs and the crime associated with them requires a collaborative effort among the law enforcement community. This investigation was initiated following previous arrests and seizures of individuals for operating clandestine methamphetamine labs throughout Western North Carolina.
Sheriff Robert Holland states, “Citizens need to understand that any individual who participates or assists any other person in the making or purchasing of materials to produce methamphetamine or any other drug is subject to being investigated, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Individuals arrested in Macon County as a result of this operation:
Guy Austin Zinkand, date of birth 06/15/69
Jennifer Lynn Collins, date of birth 01/06/81
Debbie Lee Collier, date of birth 07/16/66
Heidi Johanna Dreml, date of birth 08/14/71
Victoria Elizabeth McCurdy, date of birth 01/25/62
Tina Marie Warren, date of birth 07/28/70
Individuals arrested by other agencies during the operation:
Timothy Brandon Luker, date of birth, 10/03/79
Tripp Lester Parker, date of birth, 08/26/70
Johnny O’Dell Fortner, date of birth, 03/28/57
Betty Elaine Rich Sherill, date of birth, 04/29/57
Johnny Alvin Rice, Jr., date of birth, 04/01/81
Tyler Arnold Messer, date of birth, 06/03/88
Dustin Jay Surrett, date of birth, 02/04/92
Richard Ben Wike, Jr., date of birth, 05/09/72
Four other suspects targeted in this ongoing investigation are currently being sought by law enforcement and additional arrests are forthcoming.
Two other individuals were arrested in Macon County on unrelated felony drug charges during the course of this investigation:
Clayman Dean Conner, date of birth 04/21/43
Frederick Douglas, date of birth 08/20/58