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Three family members charged with drug labs, counterfeiting in Cave City

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Three members of a Cave City family and a close family friend were arrested Jan. 15 on charges related to counterfeiting and operating meth and ecstasy laboratories in two different locations on the Wilson Well Road property belonging to suspects Randy and Kim Vickery.

According to former Cave City Police Chief Aaron Presser, who is now a detective for the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, the case began as one of the suspects, Thomas Nick Pierson, was identified on a Cave City store's surveillance camera attempting to pass a counterfeit bill. Authorities were alerted and, later in the week, another man attempted to pass a bill at a second Cave City business. The cashier provided a description of the man, and the investigation led to a Jan. 15 warrant to search the Vickery home.

According to a press release from the sheriff's office, the department, along with the Cave City Police Department, Third Judicial Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police executed the two search warrants .

The first was served at the Vickery residence at 343 Wilson Well Road, and the second was served at the residence of Blake Polston, which was located behind the Vickery home.

The search began in the early morning hours and lasted late into the night. Numerous items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were recovered in both locations. In the Polston residence, law enforcement also located counterfeit currency printed on resume paper. There were no sophisticated plates used to print the money, simply an inkjet printer. Real money was taped to the resume paper and copied. One witness, who was at the Doublebee convenience store when Pierson attempted to pass the counterfeit bill, said it was very noticeable that it was a fake, and the cashier told the man he needed to go get some more money to pay for his purchase.

Due to the large amount of chemicals in the Polston residence, officers called chemists from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. Due to the snowy weather and terrible road conditions in Jan. 15, the process of cleaning up the laboratory went late into the night. The chemist also determined, by analyzing the chemicals, that both methamphetamine and ecstasy were being manufactured in the homes.

Randy and Kim Vickery and Blake Polston were arrested and charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. Pierson, who is Kim Vickery's son, was charged with first degree forgery, as were Randy Vickery and Blake Polston.

All four appeared before Circuit Judge Harold Erwin on Jan. 16. Public defender R.T. Starken waived formal arraignment for Randy Vickery and Pierson, and entered not guilty pleas on the forgery charges. Bond was set at $5,000. Before setting the bond on Vickery, the Judge asked Prosecutor Tom Garner, "This man made his own money, are you sure you just want to set it at $5,000." During a recess, Vickery spoke to Batesville attorney J.T. Skinner, and, when his wife appeared before Erwin, explained the family planned to hire Skinner to defend them in the case.

During the court session, a criminal investigative hold was placed on the four for the drug charges. District Judge Mark Johnson recused himself from the case due to a conflict. On Jan. 17 bond was set for Randy Vickery and Blake Polston at $50,000 each on manufacture of methamphetamine charges. According to the Sharp County Detention Center, Kim Vickery also had a bench warrant for manufacture of methamphetamine in the case but her bond amount was not available at press time. All three members of the family have currently posted bond. Pierson was not charged in the drug case.

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