McDowell drug conspiracy suspect captured in Arizona

(From left) Evan Saunders Lipford and Dwayne Bullock

A Morganton man on the run from McDowell authorities in a multi-county drug investigation was apprehended in Arizona.

One more suspect still remains at large.

Evan Saunders Lipford, 40, of 514 Rocky Ford St. in Morganton, was captured Monday in Phoenix, Ariz. He was wanted on three charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and one charge of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise.

The investigation into the drug conspiracy began last summer with a probe of activity at the 100 Stacy Farm Road residence of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate.

It was determined that Tate and 35-year-old Dwayne Bullock, of Newton, conspired with numerous people to traffic and distribute hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as lesser amounts of cocaine and heroin, between McDowell County and California.

In all, 19 people have been arrested in connection with the conspiracy. Some are considered main players and some mid-level drug dealers. Lipford is a mid-level dealer.

Deputies are still searching for Dwayne Bullock, 35, of 100 17th St. West in Newton. He is wanted on six counts of conspiracy to traffick heroin, three counts of conspiracy to traffick methamphetamine and one count of continuing a criminal enterprise.

Anyone with information concerning Bullock’s whereabouts is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235, the McDowell County 911 communications center at 652-4000 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). Now, you can also text your tips to Crime Stoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES). With Crime Stoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.