DINGESS - This past Tuesday evening, four defendants were arrested on drug related charges that stemmed from a joint investigation between Mingo County Special Investigator Eugene Crum, Williamson Police (WPD) Chief C.D. Rockel and members of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD). Additional warrants remain outstanding on two individuals wanted in connection with the drug investigation, along with an alleged robbery.
WPD Chief Rockel told the Daily News he and Investigator Crum are asking for the public’s assistance in bringing Gary Lewis Vance, 39, and his girlfriend, Trista Estep, 24, both of the Dingess area, to justice.
Two members of the Vance clan were taken into custody on Tuesday and were identified as Granville Vance, 60, and Nathan ‘Whitey” Vance, 20, the father and son of the wanted fugitive. Chief Rockel is hopeful the missing family member will soon be in custody and will be joining the other defendants for a family reunion behind bars.
“Of the three Vance males, Gary is definitely considered to be the most dangerous,” said the chief. “We’re asking for the public to contact us if they know where he and Trista are hiding out so they can be arrested to face charges including delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance, conspiracy to deliver, attempt to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy and robbery against Gary, and one count each of attempt to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy and robbery against Trista.”
The two fugitives managed to elude arrest Tuesday evening, but could still be in the Dingess, Breeden or Marrowbone Creek area of Mingo County. The couple has also been known to travel to McDowell and Wyoming Counties, where they have been listed as suspects in a robbery.
If you know the whereabouts of Vance and Estep, you are asked to contact either Chief Rockel at 304-235-2570 or Investigator Crum at the Mingo County Prosecutor’s office by calling 304-235-0350.
“You can only hide for so long,” stated Crum. “Someone out there knows where these two fugitives are hiding. We’re asking that you do the right thing for your entire community and call us with the information.”
“Our goal is to stop this drug traffic that’s been running rampant in Mingo County for far too long. Your tip could assist in taking two more drug dealers off the streets and put them behind bars where they belong.”
Crum and Rockel remind the public that you do not have to reveal your identity when providing information relating to this case or to others, they are only interested in your tip. The Daily News has worked in conjunction with the WPD, the MCSD and the WVSP in profiling fugitives in our “Mingo’s Most Wanted” series that have been connected to crimes in which tips were provided and arrests have been made.
“We are very appreciative of the chance to pass the information and photos of these two fugitives on to the public, and we feel confident it will only be a matter of time before they’re in custody on these charges,” said the chief.