Matthew Russell Pulaski

Matthew Ray Russell

Matthew Ray Russell thought he'd been shorted in a drug deal, so he held two dealers captive overnight, according to a Pulaski County search warrant.

Russell, 33, of Galax was in Pulaski County General District Court this week for a hearing where an array of charges was passed along to a grand jury, which will decide if Russell should be tried the county's Circuit Court.

The charges stem from an incident that began March 1 and ended the following morning. According to a search warrant, police were called by two people who said Russell had held them at gunpoint for hours.

The search warrant described an incident in which a man and woman claimed to have gone to a residence in the 100 block of Prince Avenue in Pulaski to sell narcotics to Russell and another person. Russell thought he did not receive the amount of drugs that had been agreed to and pulled out a pistol.

Russell took the two drug sellers' cell phones and the keys to their vehicle, and – holding a pistol and with a rifle over his shoulder – kept them as prisoners inside the Prince Avenue residence all night, the search warrant stated.

Early the next morning, Russell gave the keys to the drug dealer's vehicle to the other would-be drug buyer and that person drove the vehicle and the two dealers to a gas station. When the driver went inside with the keys, one of the dealers produced another set of keys and the pair "sped away from the gas station," according to the warrant.

They called police and officers went to Prince Avenue. At the residence where the drug dealers said they had been held prisoner, officers saw a white pickup truck leave the driveway and crash into a creek behind the house, the search warrant said. A man in dark clothes got out of the truck and ran into the woods, the warrant stated.

A search with dogs located Russell, who had a holster but no pistol. A search of the house found a .22-caliber revolver, according to the warrant.

Russell is charged with two counts of abduction, two counts of using a gun to commit a felony, two counts of being a violent felon in possession of a gun, and two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

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Mike Gangloff covers crime, breaking news and courts in the New River Valley.

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