Federal authorities have arrested the police chief of Marion on a drug charge.
Michael Dean Roberts, who also goes by Fireball, is charged with distribution of a controlled substance, according to a filing earlier today in U.S. District Court in Abingdon. His arrest was announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia.
The town of Marion announced tonight that Roberts had been fired, effective immediately.
In an affidavit for an arrest warrant, agent Jonathan Tabor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives described evidence that Roberts provided the prescription painkiller Lortab for $14 a pill to a "confidential cooperating defendant."
On June 8, Roberts, 54, of Saltville went to the cooperating defendant's home in Russell County and stepped into the kitchen, court papers said. As authorities monitored the scene with audio and video, the chief put a hand in his pocket and then placed two pills on the counter for the cooperating defendant and one on a plate pulled from a cabinet, court papers said.
Roberts then crushed the pill on the plate with a spoon, divided the material into two lines with a card from his wallet and snorted the lines, court papers said. He collected the residue with his hand, licked his hand, and washed the plate and spoon in the kitchen sink, court papers said.
After the pair left, investigators found two white pills in the home's medicine cabinet, which was where the cooperating defendant had been asked to put any drugs he got from Roberts, court papers said. The cooperating defendant later gave authorities an additional half a pill he said he received from Roberts after leaving the home and told of buying pills from Roberts twice previously, always paying $14 a pill, court papers said.
Investigators said the pills were Lortab-branded hydrocodone, a schedule III controlled substance.
Copyright 2013 - The Roanoke Times, Va.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service