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McDowell County Sheriff's Office
Monday September 20th, 2021 :: 09:53 a.m. EDT


Drug Conviction and Sentencing

On July 8, 2021, a McDowell County Jury convicted Wesley Clayton Rhom, Jr., 32, of Marion, NC for two counts of Trafficking in Opium or Heroin and two counts of Trafficking in Methamphetamine.  He received an active sentence of 450 to 564 months in the NC Department of Adult Corrections.

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, Detectives with the McDowell County Drug Enforcement were conducting surveillance on U.S. 70 East and Harmony Grove Road in Nebo as part of their ongoing investigation into reported illegal drug distribution activities. A vehicle stop was conducted on a motorcycle driven by Rhom on Roland’s Chapel Road for a traffic violation.  At the time of the vehicle stop, Rhom led detectives on a short foot chase, until being apprehended by detectives.  A subsequent search following Rhom’s apprehension turned up 137 grams of heroin and 99 grams of methamphetamine.

This investigation was a joint investigation by McDowell County Sheriffs’ Office, Marion Police Department, the NC State Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney Ted Bell and his staff.

Sheriff Ricky T. Buchanan stated, “This is a testament to teamwork and collaboration.  The partnerships that we have with other local, state, and federal partners lead to these types of arrests and prosecutions.  We are focused on those that prey on others addictions, and we will continue to come after those that are involved in the illegal distribution of controlled substances in McDowell County.”  “With the assistance of our District Attorney and his office, we are seeing successful prosecutions with significant sentences for those selling this poison.”

Marion Police Chief Allen Lawrence added, “I greatly appreciate the partnerships that continue to pull together to work toward a common goal of reducing drug use in McDowell County. I would also like to express my thanks to all the law enforcement officers with every agency responsible for bringing this individual to justice. We all hear from concerned citizens about the issues that illegal narcotics cause and results never seem to come quickly as these investigations take months to accomplish. This press release is a testament that our officers from every agency care and take each case seriously all the way to the very end.”    

“Drug addiction is real, and we encourage those that are addicted to GET HELP.  If you don’t know what resources are available to you, check out our App under the “Resources” and “Community Directory” tab for some of those resources.  If you are selling illegal drugs or assisting in the distribution of illegal drugs in McDowell County, you need to know that we will be seeing you soon….you could be next on our list.  Drug Trafficking Organizations will not be tolerated in McDowell County” added Sheriff Buchanan.

McDowell County Sheriff's Office
593 Spaulding Rd
Marion, NC 28752

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 828-652-2235

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