By: PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
January 7, 2013
WILLIAMSON - A Red Jacket resident that has eluded law enforcement for nearly 2 months hired a local attorney to represent him and was instructed to turn himself in to Williamson Police Chief C.D. Rockel, who is also the Mingo County Drug Task Force Special Investigator, in Magistrate Court on Monday on an outstanding warrant that had been obtained against him on Nov. 12, 2012.
John Bland Jr., 29, “aka” (also known as) Jon-Jon Bland, is accused of conspiring with his father, John Bland Sr. (already in custody) to sell a quantity of a Schedule I controlled substance (marijuana) on 2 separate occasions to a confidential informant for money, while being monitored by police.
Bland was charged with 2 counts of delivery of a Schedule I controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver. He was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Dee Sidebottom and was remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail on a bond amount of $110,000.
Bland Sr. (51) had been charged in November when arrested with one count of delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) and conspiracy to deliver a Schedule I controlled substance. Another family member, Nicholas Bland, 27, of North Matewan, was charged with delivery of a Schedule I controlled substance (marijuana) within 1,000 feet of a school (Omega Christian Academy) and conspiracy to deliver a Schedule I controlled substance. Megan Burger, 25, of Red Jacket, was also arrested during the drug bust that was led by Chief Rockel and Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was then serving as Drug Force Special Investigator, and was charged with possession with intent to deliver a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Burger faces additional charges of child neglect stemming from her 4 year-old child being present during the drug buys, and will have these allegations presented to the grand jury for consideration.
The arrests occurred after the officers had received numerous complaints from the public regarding the Bland family and their associates, and the raid consisted of striking 3 separate residences. Over $3,000 in cash and a variety of prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia were confiscated during the arrests. Other items that were seized included a 30/30 caliber rifle, 2 model 380 caliber semi-automatics and 1 22 caliber revolver. Approximately 8 lbs. of high-grade marijuana with an estimated street value of $13,600 was also found.