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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

Glade Hill ex-es indicted on drug charges
Former couple charged with meth possession
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Mary Ellen Blankenship
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Friday, October 11, 2013

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A Glade Hill woman and her ex-husband were indicted this week on felony drug charges.

Mary Ellen Blankenship, 49, and Michael Dennis Blankenship, 54, are both charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The charges stem from altercations between the couple at the man's residence in April and May.

Mary Ellen Blankenship was arrested in April after she allegedly fired a handgun at her ex-husband at his residence beside the old Kwick Kitchen on Route 40 East. She was charged with discharging a firearm inside an occupied residence and brandishing a firearm.

That arrest on April 17 led to the first search of the residence, during which investigators found evidence of a suspected meth lab on the property, according to Lt. Justin Sigmon.

Then in May, Mary Blankenship and Michael Blankenship were both charged with brandishing a firearm after an altercation at the same residence. They were both also charged with assaulting a family member, according to Major Harry Clingenpeel with the sheriff's office.

Deputies responded to the residence on Old Franklin Turnpike for a fight in progress, Clingenpeel said. When they arrived, the deputies found the couple outside and a shotgun laying in the yard.

Both were arrested and another search warrant was obtained for the residence. During that search, investigators discovered ingredients commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine inside the house, Clingenpeel said.

The drug charges had to wait for lab analysis before they could be presented to the grand jury, according to

Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen. No decision has been made about the prosecution of the prior firearms and assault charges, he added.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It is a determination by jurors that enough evidence exists to warrant a trial.

 
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