Archived Story

Hedgepeth arrested on prescription fraud

Published 10:34am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

FRANKLIN—A Newsoms man yet to sentenced for his part in a 2013 marijuana growing operation is in trouble again, this time on a charge of obtaining drugs by fraud.

Hedgepeth
Hedgepeth

Joel Hedgepeth, 28, of the 34000 block of Monroe Road, was arrested Monday at 8:15 p.m., in the Farm Fresh grocery store on Armory Drive, according to Capt. Tim Whitt, spokesman for the Franklin Police Department.

“The accused Joel Hedgepeth presented a suspicious prescription to the pharmacist at Walgreens for Oxycodone,” said Whitt. “The pharmacist notified police, and upon investigation it was determined that the prescription was forged. Hedgepeth was arrested at Farm Fresh while trying to pick up another prescription. He was charged and remanded to Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond.”

The arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. today, Jan. 5, in General District Court, Franklin.

Richard Railey, serving as the attorney for Hedgepeth, said he could not comment on the incident at this time.

Hedgepeth is also scheduled for a pre-sentence report at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 25, in Southampton County Circuit Court. That’s related to his admitted part in the aforementioned growing.

In mid-July, he and Kyle Thorpe were arrested on multiple charges connected to the operation that law enforcement busted in late May. There were 99 plants seized, and an illegal liquor still was also taken then.

Hedgepeth pleaded guilty at his trial in September to four counts of selling and distributing marijuana and a drug sale on or near school property or a library.

  • mommyoftwo

    Let me guess his amputation is the reason he was seen, just a few days ago, out at a bar in town getting trashed on liquor drinks in the middle of the day? He hasn’t been given his own legit prescription of pain medication while he’s going thru treatment? His doctors won’t give him anything? I’m sure the doctor’s know how painful his situation is. Maybe he was getting them for a friend, or maybe a friend’s wife. who knows…but seriously, come on…..anyone who knows Joel knows he doesn’t care about getting in trouble. If he did he wouldn’t be involved with half the people and things he’s involved with. Do I have he has the health issues he has going on? Yes. I wouldnt wish that on anyone. But maybe he should have been paying more attention to his health instead of making sure the bud plants were watered…..

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  • foxtrotter56

    I recall many years ago an incident at the Franklin Municipal Airport where numerous well known “upstanding citizens” were responsible for a plane loaded with drugs. To my knowledge – none of them pulled any time and it was eventually “swept under the rug”. The bottom line here is the only person Joel has hurt is himself and as someone mentioned previously – it’s apparent people are ignorant to addiction. As for “hurting our youth” – so is fast food, cigarettes, liquor, obesity, and the list goes on and on!!!

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    • seymorebutts

      Are you implying he shouldn’t serve time? You say people are ignorant to addiction… It would be ignorant to let addicts do whatever they want with drugs without consequences. We’d have MANY more addicts and crime in the area if law enforcement and the judicial systems didn’t enforce well thought out and evolved laws. It would appear you are ignorant to just how bad things would get if we incorrectly viewed it closed minded as the addicts only hurting themselves.

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  • DIESEL

    Spare me the bleeding heart crap. Do the crime, do the time. Joel has been doing this exact thing his ENTIRE adult life. He just happened to get caught around the same time other health issues have arisen. His problem is some of the folks on here are the same ones that have been making excuses for him his entire life…congrats, look where your hard work got him.

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    • gd12620
    • broman

      DIESEL got it right. Many people here know I’m no angel but I learned my lesson when I got smacked down, partly because I had nobody to bail me out of it. Sadly, from what I’m reading I don’t think this guy is going to figure it out. He needs some time away from society before he decides to take it to the next level. Opiate addiction can end tragically for all involved.

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    • public

      entire adult life? your wrong on that he has only been getting in trouble the past few years. And he has owned up to ALL his mistakes and taking responsibility for his actions. A lot of people when they get into trouble they deny any part in it, unlike Joel who admits and acknowledges what he did wrong

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      • seymorebutts

        Lies! He’s rarely gone an entire day without committing at least a misdemeanor. I know for a fact he’s committed several more felonies he was never caught for. I wouldn’t define him as a career criminal but he’s certainly been a lifetime criminal since his teenage years.

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      • DIESEL

        You`re right public…he has only been in trouble the past couple years. That is only because he GOT CAUGHT!! Been doin it and getting away with it his ENTIRE adult life…to disagree with this very well-known fact shows a complete lack of information.

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  • ROBERT GREEN

    Temporary relief is not 99 pot plants, that’s growing with intent to sell. He took responsibility for it because he was caught and did not have much choice. Prescription fraud just means more jail time. The drug problems affect everyone and if you are growing or using it does not matter, it all leads to more crime. Steeling in a large problem around here and i know first hand allot of it if from drug use. So i say again 30 years to help keep the honest people safe from these Carrier criminals. And last time i looked this is a public form so i will express my opinion as i see fit.

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    • gd12620

      Thank you! I’ll express my opinion also as I see fit. People should spare all that “he who is without sin” crap too. I’ve not said I was perfect. I just get sick of people taking up for him – or any criminal for that matter. If it was someone else they weren’t friends with or weren’t related to I bet they’d feel differently.

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    • jake8313

      Joel hasn’t been charged with growing anything.. Why do you keep repeating this Robert? He isn’t a career criminal(guessing that is what you meant). That would suggest that he has been involved in crime most of his adult life and that is his career/how he makes a living. At worst he is addicted and has made some mistakes. He does owe society a debt for his crimes, but it should be commiserate to the crime and the circumstances. One of the many great things about our justice system.

      And you are correct, this is a public forums. Every is entitled to their own opinion. Ya know what they say about opinions.. They are like belly buttons, everyone has one and a lot of them stink.

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  • Wild_Hunter

    My comments from this afternoon are awaiting moderation someone must not want the truth out about who those pills were really for!!! joel has a reason to take pain medication and doctors to give him to give him real prescriptions unlike other people we know who are addiced to pain medication. Nine times out of ten he was probably doing his friends wife a favor and picking the prescription up for her!!! And her or the family are trying. to remove my post so the truth of the story is not exposed

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  • god is good

    Are yall serious?

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  • jake8313

    If you have ever met someone that has an amputation it is extremely rough for them to cope. Often they will search out a temporary relief, through alcohol or narcotics. The individual needs treatment. He doesn’t need to be demonized. Now throw in the fact that he has cancer on top of an amputation. I have a hard time imagining what he is going through.

    I believe if you knew the situation you would be far less likely to cast stones. It is very easy to sit back and judge someone from a keyboard.

    As for his crimes, he took responsibility and plead guilty to his charges. The only considerations he has asked for is to postpone the sentencing until he has completed treatment.

    To those that only wish to condemn him and act like he is beneath you, please keep your opinions to yourself until everything is said and done. If you can’t do that and you feel the need to express your opinion, than please send it to me directly.

    He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7

    A big Thank You to those that have helped him and have kept him in your prayers.

    Regards,

    Mr. Hedgepeth, Jacob P.
    jacob.hedgepeth@gmail.com

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    • thecomputerman

      John 11:35: “Jesus wept.”

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    • UrMegesty

      Pray for the dude, that’s all we can do. Prison, amputations, drug abuse, violating laws and addiction are all horrible experiences for anyone who has to experience them. There are no excuses when it comes to breaking the law, however, every case is different (such is why some of the greatest factors of law administration is to use discretion, jury of peers, etc.) He may not have the best luck but we cannot judge him. Worry about how you can better yourself and your own environment so that our society and generations to come don’t have to self-medicate via substances and addictions. I challenge everyone to say a prayer when you’re going to bed tonight that Joel finds his way…

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    • localcitizen

      Joel has been turning to narcotics and alcohol for more than a decade now. He has only recently finally been caught. He was into those types of things for many years while he was perfectly able-bodied. So don’t use his amputation as an excuse for him to turn to drugs and alcohol, when that simply isn’t the truth.

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    • freedomis4real

      Mr. Hedgepeth, I will pray for you and your family member. There appear to be numerous issues associated with Joel’s case which obviously cannot be (and should not be) covered in a public forum. Speaking from experience, when a loved one faces a crisis (possibly of their own) doing, it is human nature to defend their honor at all costs, which may include minimizing behaviors which are not socially acceptable and may be illegal. Deny, deny, deny is what some of us do. I know because I did it. Denial does not help us or them. Sometimes, the best we can do is pray and turn it over to a higher power. I don’t know what really happened in Joel’s case, but I hope that the outcome is positive in terms of his mental, spiritual, and physical well being.

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  • freedomis4real

    This case involving Mr. Hedgepeth appears to be a very sensitive matter to folks in this region. In an previous posting on this matter, a reader seemed to suggest that the “Hedgepeth” names warrants some level of “special preference” in “these parts.” have no insight regarding whether or not those insinuations are true. Based on a my review of TN reports, it appears that several charges are pending as it relates to a “pot growing” operation. Indeed, this latest “brush with the law” appears to be drug related. The facts: It is illegal to possess, grow, sell, etc. pot in Virginia (if the laws have changed, please forgive my ignorance). I am sorry to learn of Mr. Hedgepeth’s amputation. If this is a situated rooted in addiction may be his family can be of assistance (continued assistance) in directing finances toward his recovery. I sincerely wish him the best in this regards. Otherwise, breaking the law is what it is…there are consequences.

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  • wiskeymike

    Fact is this guy poisons our youth . Any other excuses ? If you didn’t realize we live in Va so we abide by Va law.

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  • foxtrotter56

    Let’s see – give him 30 years for growing plants which are legal in several states. If he was in California or Colorado he wouldn’t be looking at any time. So when they legalize marijuana in Virginia, are they going to release all the people they have convicted? You murder someone and get less time than someone caught with pot. Let’s see – it’s OK for the government to sell alcohol but not an individual to make it. And more people get killed every year by alcohol related incidences. Zero people have been killed or died from marijuana use. Alcohol is a drug and that drug is regulated by the Government! As for stocking up for that vacation coming up – he currently is suffering from cancer and had to have his foot removed. How quickly we are to throw stones. It must be nice to have such a perfect life with no sins of your own!

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    • freedomis4real

      foxtrotter56: You made some really good points. At the end of the day, the laws in Virginia are what they are. Until they are changed, any of us can be charged in the same manner as Mr. Hedgepeth. We all make choices, including where we live. Fortunately, we live in the United States (one of the most liberal and progressive countries in the world). This means, for the most part, we are able to travel or relocate wherever we want. For people who want to grow, smoke or sell “pot” legally, they may want to consider moving to Colorado or some other place where it is allowable. Yes – you are right, each of us has done things that we would rather not come to light. Still, in some instances our transgressions may result in losing something like our freedom. Would it be unfair to say that Mr. Hedgepeth may have dodged many bullets before the pot growing charges?? I don’t know, but my instincts tell me that there is a back story to the pot and the prescription incidents. Drugs + Drugs = Drug Addiction??

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    • gd12620

      Sorry but he is a drug addict plain and simple. I have witnessed him trying to get an oxycodone prescription from Walgreens……this was before he was arrested for the pot growing, before the cancer.

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      • public

        Maybe because he has had more surgeries for other causes than just cancer. Because you see someone trying to get a prescription doesn’t mean they are a drug addict. keep your negative opinions to yourself.

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      • thecomputerman

        the doctor said that marijuana slows the growth of cancer and will eventually reverse the growth of cancer. this is a catch 22

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    • chilimac72

      “Zero people have been killed or died from marijuana use” now that is some BS. I get your point, but this one is completely invalid. I do not doubt the numbers are lower (because it is illegal so less accessible) but there are cases of DWI deaths related to marijuana.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/marijuana-a-major-cause-of-accidents-what-study-says/

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  • ROBERT GREEN

    Some people will never learn. Go ahead and give him jail time for the grow op and whenever he gets out it will be the same thing over and over again. The cure – 30 years to think about it.

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  • broman

    Stocking up for that vacation coming up.

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    • paeh12

      Stocking up for vacation? You get your leg amputated, like he did. Then come back with a remark like that

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      • freedomis4real

        paeh12: I can understand that comments regarding this situation may be somewhat personal for you based on your response. An amputation is not a laughing matter. The fact is people with physical or mental challenges commit crimes as well as able-bodied folks. The fact that Mr. Hedgepeth is an amputee should not give him a free pass to commit crimes without consequences. If you are a friend or relative, I recommend addressing the real issues. Drug addiction?? I really do not know. I am not personally invested in this issue.

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      • FromHere

        Amputation is devastating, I’m sure, to those who have had to have this done. However, it is not a free pass to become a criminal. Not an excuse.

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