Southwest Virginia Drug Task Forces disrupt multi-county meth network

Local officials on hand for the Operation Trap Door announcement included (fron left) 1/Sgt. Derek M.V. Reece, Virginia State Police Area 24 commander. Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Worrell, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney “Skip” Schwab, Jr. and Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche. (Mike Williams photo)

“Operation Trap Door” Nets Record Meth Seizure in Floyd County

Two regional drug task forces have netted record seizures of methamphetamine, along with cocaine, fentanyl, illegal prescription drugs and illegal firearms, as part of Operation Trap Door, an extensive, multi-county illegal narcotics investigation. The operation has resulted in nine arrests on more than 30 charges and kept more than $2.1 million in meth and cocaine from reaching the counties of Carroll, Floyd, Grayson, Pulaski and Wythe, and neighboring jurisdictions.

Representatives from area law enforcement agencies involved in Operation Trap Door gathered this morning for a press conference at the New River Criminal Justice Training Academy. Local officials on hand for the event included Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche, Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Worrell, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney “Skip” Schwab, Jr. and 1/Sgt. Derek M.V. Reece, Virginia State Police Area 24 commander.

Operation Trap Door was initiated in 2017 during a narcotics investigation in Carroll County by the Twin County Drug Task Force. The investigation rapidly spread from Carroll and Grayson counties to Wythe and Pulaski counties, which engaged the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. State and local investigators’ pursuit of this complex drug network led them to numerous other locations across Virginia, other states and Mexico. The investigation continuously netted seizures of meth, cocaine, illegal prescription drugs, fentanyl and firearms.

“The importance and necessity of multi-agency collaboration is evident by investigations of this scale,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Operation Trap Door is the direct result of what we can accomplish when local, state and federal criminal justice partners combine personnel, resources, equipment, expertise and investigative efforts.”

On Sept. 26, 2019, search warrants were executed at two residences in the 100 block of Pine Mountain Road in Floyd, Va. The search warrants yielded a total record seizure of 30.65 lbs. of meth, with an estimated street value of $1.4 million. More than 6 lbs. of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $307,000, and more than $141,000 worth of fentanyl pills were also seized from the residences. Investigators also seized 21 illegal firearms. Jorge Humberto Martinez-Estrada, 31, and Alvaro Tejeda-Galvan, 47, both of Floyd, Va., were arrested and both charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm While not being a U.S.

Alvaro Tejeda-Galvan

Citizen. They are both being held without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail.

“The team work, dedication and extraordinary work put forth by the men and women assigned to these task forces and within the Commonwealth Attorneys’ offices are to be commended,” said Capt. Joe Daniels, Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office. “For two years, they have been relentlessly pursuing this complex drug network and working to dismantle it at every angle. As a result, they have stemmed the flow of significant amounts of illegal and deadly narcotics into communities and jurisdictions across Southwest Virginia.”

The Twin County Drug Task Force is made up of investigators from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, City of Galax Police Department, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police. The Claytor Lake Drug Task Force includes investigators from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Pulaski Police Department, Wythe County Sheriff’s Office

Jorge Humberto Martinez Estrada

and Virginia State Police.

The investigation was also supported by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Wythe County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Virginia State Police Tactical Teams, Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Teams and High-Tech Crimes Division.

Technical assistance was also provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).