More charges dismissed in federal drug case

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Charges against two more defendants in a federal prescription drug case have been dropped.

On March 21, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina had charges against Arron Jones and Kevin Dail Owens dismissed in light of “newly obtained information,” according to the order for dismissal.

Jones’ and Owens’ dismissals make for a total of four cases out of six that have been dismissed before the case could go to trial. In January, the cases against Anna Moore and Lori Melton were dismissed.

Owens, Jones, Moore and Melton were arrested in drug sweep in April 2012, along with Justin Mixon and Mandy Bunch. Four of the defendants (Bunch, Jones, Melton and Moore) worked in the medical industry, the other two (Mixon, Owens) in law enforcement. Of the six, Mandy Bunch, a nurse practitioner, will go to trial in April. Mixon made a plea deal with the prosecution and will testify at the Bunch’s trial, according to sources.

Initially, a total of 261 counts were levied against the six co-defendants, with Bunch’s charges in keeping with distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice: Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Xanax and others.

Myron Hill, Owens’ defense attorney, and Owens declined to comment on the case dismissal other than to say that Owens is moving on and working with another lawyer to get his job reinstated. Owens worked as a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper.

The public information officer for U.S. Attorney’s Office, Don Connelly, said that it had “no further comment on the dismissal of the cases against (Owens and Jones).”