Six in custody after motel drug bust

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) – We've uncovered a huge drug bust in our area with kids caught in the middle.  Six people are accused of selling drugs out of an Ashland motel.  Police said they even dealt the drugs while children were in the room.

These arrests are the result of a three month narcotics investigation.

The Apple Garden Inn became a garden of drugs, according to Ashland Police.  They said the suspects sold heroin, prescription pills and marijuana inside the rooms where children were staying.

"It's not something we really want around here," Ashland resident Rick Vaden said.  "It's not something we're real happy about."

The three people, who we're told were living at the motel right off Interstate 95 during the investigation, are also facing six counts of child endangerment. That's because police said they found narcotics and drug paraphernalia in the rooms where the kids were living.

We stopped Karen Fox on her way to grab dinner with her daughter at the restaurant next door.  She couldn't believe anyone would expose children to the dangers of drug deals.

"That's really horrible because I actually have a daughter and I don't want her growing up around things like that," she said.  "I really think it's important to make sure that people like that are put away."

NBC12 spoke with the manager of the Apple Garden Inn, who said he lives on the property.  He maintained he wasn't aware of the drug issues but will cooperate with authorities.

Police said it's thanks to the surrounding community they were able to bust the hotel drug activity.  The investigation was based on complaints and suspicious activity seen during officer patrols.

"That's what I love about Ashland," Vaden said.  "That's the kind of community it is you know people look out for one another.  We like to try and keep things quiet around here as much as we can."

The seventeen drug counts include conspiracy to distribute narcotics, as well.

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