700 to 1,000 pounds of meth found in Surry County in ‘Operation Thin Ice’; 8 people sentenced to prison

(From left, top) Thomas James Gambill, Olivia Ramirez-Hernandez, Jose Armondo Ramos-Cabrera, Elias Junior Rodriguez, (bottom) Joel Bueno Lopez, Jesus Ramirez Barrera, David Worth Steele and Billy Lee Robertson

SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — From 700 to 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine was found in Surry County, leading investigators to discover a major distributor in Atlanta, according to the Sorry County Sheriff’s Office.

The SCSO, Mount Airy police, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security worked together over two years on what officials called “Operation Thin Ice.”

The operation identified 700 to 1,000 pounds of meth distributed in Surry County. After these busts, investigators learned the suppliers were getting methamphetamine from a distributor in Atlanta.

Eight people were arrested with all pleading guilty to either conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine or distributing methamphetamine.

David Worth Steele, 55, was sentenced 240 months in prison. Steele pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Jose Armondo Ramos-Cabrera, 22, was sentenced to 220 months in prison. Ramos-Cabrera pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Billy Lee Robertson, 33, was sentenced to 122 months in prison. Robertson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Elias Junior Rodriguez, 36, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Thomas James Gambill, 41, was sentenced 90 months in prison. Gambill pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Joel Bueno Lopez, 27, was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Olivia Ramirez-Hernandez, 50, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Ramirez-Hernandez pleaded guilty to distributing methamphetamine.

Jesus Ramirez Barrera, 45, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Barrera pleaded guilty to distributing methamphetamine.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.