WAYNESBORO, Tenn. — A joint operations dubbed “Pumpkin Pie” involving Waynesboro Police and Wayne County Sheriff’s departments ended Wednesday, resulting in the arrest of nine people.
“There is no one agency that can fight this battle on its own,” Waynesboro Police Chief George Barturin said. “We have to share resources and that’s what we’re trying to do here in this county.”
Wayne County Sheriff Ric Wilson said the operation, which began about 18 months ago, ended when the final person wanted in the roundup was turned in at the county detention center.
“We had some people that had been on our radar for more than a year and through the joint efforts of our office and the police department, we were able to make the (undercover) buys we needed to make the arrests,” Wilson said.
He said all nine people face felony charges of selling methamphetamine or prescription pills.
“We started rounding them up last week during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it concluded (Wednesday) with the last arrest,” Wilson said.
He said Wednesday morning Kale Sandusky, 31, of Columbia, Tenn., who was wanted for two counts of selling methamphetamine was arrested. He is being held in the Wayne County Detention Center on bail of $75,000.
Wilson said Sandusky and Robert Blake Staggs, 31, 1098 Old Highway 64, Waynesboro, are the two major players involved in the roundup.
Staggs is charged with seven counts of selling methamphetamine. He is being held in jail on bail of $350,000.
“These were two major movers of meth here in the area,” Wilson said. He said undercover agents bought meth from both suspects.
“We bought an ounce, (valued at $1,500 to $2,000) from Staggs at one time. That’s a lot of meth,” Wilson said.
He said it’s unknown if they were making the meth or getting it shipped in to them.
“Hopefully, this will dry up the meth in the county for a little while,” the sheriff said. “Stopping meth is like killing cockroaches. You can kill all of them in one corner and they’ll show back up in another one.
“Meth and other illegal drugs is a problem we’ve got to stay after.”
Others arrested and their charges include:
Melvin Staggs, 54, 310 Popular St., Apartment 2, Waynesboro; unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Kerry Hardin, 46, 101 Daniel St., Collinwood, Tenn.; three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Ingrid Jones, 35, 720 Salem Church Road, Waynesboro; two counts of selling methamphetamine.
James Pope, 49, 1286 Collinwood Highway, Waynesboro; unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Paul Henry Robinson, 23, 007 Circle Bend Road, Waynesboro; two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Damien Staggs, 32, 41 Pine Ridge Road, Waynesboro; two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Steven Staggs, 31, 524 Walker Road, Waynesboro; unlawful possession of a controlled substance for resale.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.