Amherst Co. Officials Make Major Drug Bust

Update: 10:00 p.m.

Madison Heights, VA - Two people behind bars and 12 ounces of cocaine is off the streets. Amherst County Sheriff Jimmy Ayers says a man and a woman were picked up with the drugs at the Amelon Shopping Center in Madison Heights.

Ayers says deputies seized 12-13 ounces of cocaine as well as $13,000 in cash. This was a part of an undercover drug sting that began yesterday in Durham, North Carolina.

Ayers says the man arrested Wednesday was distributing in Amherst County, in the Amelon shopping center for at least one year. Ayers says the man was traveling from Durham Wednesday, and while headed north, he stopped in Halifax County where he picked up a woman.

The pair then traveled further north, and at around 5 p.m., they were met by six different law enforcement agencies including police from North Carolina and the ATF; all waiting for them in the shopping center.

People that work there shocked it could even happen, "People should feel safe about it because they know somebody's out there controlling this and got a hold of it, and it's not just still out there" said Gabby Vitale, the manager of a restaurant in the shopping center.

"The way it's impacting our society every day, it's a good day when you can say you've gotten that amount of drugs off of our streets" said Ayers.

38 year old Alphonso Roman Sanchez of Durham, North Carolina is facing several charges including distribution of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of Cocaine within 1-thousand feet of a school. 37 year old Marsha Jo Herrera of Nathalie is facing charges as well, including Distribution of Cocaine and Distribution within 1-thousand feet of a school.

The suspects are being held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail / Amherst Adult Detention Center without bond pending an advisement hearing in the Amherst General District Court.


Amherst Co., VA - There was heavy police activity in Madison Heights Wednesday Night at the Amelon Shopping Center.

Amherst County Sheriff Jimmy Ayers says an undercover sting started in Durham Tuesday and ended in Madison Heights Wednesday night.

Ayers says they picked up 12 to 13 ounces of cocaine, a street value of $34,000.

ABC 13 is following the drug bust, and will have much more tonight on ABC 13 News at 11.