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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The former police chief of Marion pleaded guilty to drug distribution Monday, according to federal prosecutors who said he faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced this fall.
A summary of evidence provided at a hearing for Michael Dean "Fireball" Roberts said the longtime chief distributed at least 7,331 hydrocodone pills, 365 grams of methamphetamine and "small amounts" of cocaine and oxycodone between 2006 and June 2013, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia.
"Roberts used his position as chief of police to obtain some of these drugs from the Marion Police Department evidence room," the release stated.
Roberts, 54, of Saltville, appeared in U.S. District Court in Abingdon on Monday, nearly a month after his June 19 arrest. In addition to pleading guilty to a felony charge, he agreed to forfeit two pistols and ammunition, court papers said. He was released on bond pending sentencing Oct. 9.
Roberts was chief of police in Marion from 2000 until shortly after his arrest, when the town council announced his firing. He had been an elected member of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors for 14 years ending in 2009.
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