Crime increasing in Floyd County

Armed robbers storm into a Willis convenience store.

A 15-year-old Floyd County girl is lured via the Internet into a car and abducted to Pennsylvania by a predatory couple.

A county woman flees an abusive husband in South Boston and comes home. She returns to retrieve her daughter and is gunned down by the husband who then turns the shotgun on himself.

A county man gets out of jail after serving time for a third DWI offense and brutally rapes the pre-teen-aged daughter and then claims the attack was justifiable revenge because the father, he said, slept with his girlfriend.

What is happening to our quiet little community?

The front page of The Fl0yd Press 10 days ago was dominated with stories about crime. Home and business break-ins are up. So is vandalism.   A sheriff’s department investigator says Roanoke area gangs are operating in the county.

Sheriff’s deputies recently descended on a crystal meth lab. Many cops say the explosive growth of the highly-addictive drug is responsible for much of the increase in crime.

“According to the National Association of Counties, forty-seven percent of county sheriffs report meth as their number one drug problem,” says a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice.  “Sixty-two percent of counties with populations less than 25,000 reported an increase in meth abuse by women.  Forty-five states show a ninety percent increase in meth-related crime in the past three years.”

Many of the drug cases I cover in Floyd County Circuit Court involve production, sale and/or use of crystal meth. Use of the drug is growing to epidemic proportions among both adults and teen-agers.

“The methamphetamine crisis, which began more than 20 years ago in western and southwestern regions of the country, is now affecting all areas of the United States, especially rural communities,” says Mary Lou Leary, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs.

Murder and violent death used to be rare in Floyd County. Juries had to deliver a verdict on two shooting death cases last year and another jury will deal with a murder case later this year. Sexual abuse cases — many involving attacks on family members — have become regular parts of the Circuit Court docket.

This increase in drug use and crimes associated with it could not come at a worse time for Floyd County and other rural areas. Budget cuts have hurt the ability of both the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and Commonwealth’s Attorney to deal with the explosive growth in cases.

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2 thoughts on “Crime increasing in Floyd County”

  1. Doug,

    These stories are alarming! I’m glad you’ve shared them as there are probably many folks in the area who may be in some sort of denial about these kinds of things happening in their neck of the woods. Meth labs are extremely dangerous…and very expensive to clean up. Often, the cost to clean up just one meth lab is in the tens of thousands of our tax dollars. If folks won’t pay attention to the headlines, perhaps they’ll pay attention to their own pocketbook.

  2. Yes Doug when people are broke many turn to easy ways to make profits and Drugs are one turned t often, it’s a real shame, because so many children get involved in it.
    The biggest problem, I see around here is there is absolutely nothing for the kids to do, most here do not want the little town atmosphere to disappear, so , hence no growth, and no nothing going on for the kids , so this opens a door for them to get into trouble, or find something to do which is usually not a good thing.
    Biggest problem I’ve seen living in different parts of the USA, GANGS, Americas number one problem and explodes out of control if not handled immediately.
    From gangs and not dealing with the problem comes Robberies ,Drugs ,and break In’s especially in an area as here where people do not educate themselves, about the gangs and how to deal with them.
    I saw a Wall of war started on the village green and was so very surprised to see that in Floyd, it was a serious penalty to leave this on a building more then 24 hours in a lot of cities, there was a big fine for the owner to not get it off the business, for good reason it usually did start a war over who was going to control that area.
    We’ll the gangs will move in and make life VERY bad for all of Floyd if it’s not dealt with, and if people don’t have meetings on how to control it, and the police need to have, what I was told was just called selective enforcement to let them know there not at all welcome here, if they even looked like bangers there car was totally gone through and checked just from driving in the town, I loved it , they knew they were not welcome.
    we’ll hope Floydanites deal with it or it will get MUCH worse.

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