News Column

Meth Investigation Preceded Christiansburg Shooting

April 12, 2013

The Christiansburg man killed in a reported shootout with law enforcement officers on Wednesday was identified by the state police as Robert Kevin Hughes.

Hughes, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting on Ridgeway Drive in Montgomery County, on the outskirts of the Cambria community. Authorities have said that Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deputies and Christiansburg police officers were attempting to serve a felony drug arrest warrant in the 900 block of Ridgeway Drive when a male suspect ran out of a residence and began shooting at officers.

Gunshots were exchanged between the officers and the suspect, and the suspect was struck and killed. No officers were injured, authorities have said.

The county sheriff's office served a search warrant at the residence as part of the ongoing investigation, according to state police Sgt. Rob Carpentieri.

According to a search warrant filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court last week, a special officer with the New River Regional Drug Task Force on March 29 came into contact with a man identified as Charles Thomas at a mobile home at 955 Ridgeway Drive while investigating a potential methamphetamine lab. Thomas told the officer that Hughes lived in the mobile home and had made meth at the residence, according to the warrant. The warrant stated that Thomas had a smoking device and told the officer that he had gotten it from inside Hughes' mobile home. Thomas also told the officer that Hughes had a black box that contained items to produce meth, according to the warrant, which does not specify any further details of the relationship between Thomas and Hughes.

The officer seized several items from inside the mobile home, including plastic bags with powder residue, plant material, smoking devices, aluminum foil with residue and professional drain opener, the warrant stated.

Court records show Hughes had previous convictions in multiple jurisdictions, beginning in 1994 when he pleaded guilty to contributing to delinquency in Roanoke County Circuit Court.

In Salem Circuit Court, he was convicted of petit larceny in 1998, driving under the influence in 2000 and possession of cocaine in 2002.

In 2008 in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Hughes was convicted of his third DUI in 10 years. The charge was originally for a fourth offense but was amended. He served nine months in jail.

State police are investigating the incident, taking over because of the law enforcement-involved shooting.

Source: Copyright Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA)

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