The case stems from an extensive investigation by the Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force into the distribution of illegal synthetic drugs in Wise County. Evidence showed that in the Town of Coeburn on November 15, 2015, Hayes sold various a small ziplock plastic bag containing white powder for profit. The substance sold was analyzed to contain the synthetic drug known as alpha-PVP, a Schedule I drug.
Alpaha-PVP (alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone) is sometimes called flakka or gravel. Users of these products have reported numerous severe side effects including paranoia, erratic behavior, violent behavior, panic attacks, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, hallucinations, and extreme intoxication.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp commented, "The synthetic drug distributed in this case is dangerous and highly addictive. We continue our commitment to seek tough sentences for any drug dealer who profits from distributing these dangerous synthetic drugs in our community."
The case was prosecuted by Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ken Lammers.
Slemp praised the contribution of the Wise County Sheriff's Office, Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, and the Task Force's member agencies for their teamwork in investigating the cases and assisting in preparation for trial.