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Five charged with helping man avoid capture

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

WYTHE COUNTY — Five people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly helping a man avoid capture by police in late December.

According to Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan, officers interviewed numerous people in an attempt to locate Cody Drain after he escaped while handcuffed at the Christiansburg Magistrate’s Office Dec. 30. An investigation determined several of those individuals lied when they claimed not to know Drain’s whereabouts, the sheriff says. In fact, he alleges they actually helped Drain to avoid capture.

“These suspects obstructed deputies by giving false information to law enforcement, purchasing motel rooms in their name to give Drain a place to stay, gave him rides and helped him flee, gave him cell phones, and cut the handcuffs off of Drains arms,” Dunagan said.

Those arrested for being accessories after the fact in a felony are Nicholas Wayne Alexander Albert, 20; Joshua Mark Safewright, 27; Bridget Leann Martin, 27; James Edward Nelson, 46, and Chase Aaron Martin, 28. Albert faces two counts.

Drain was arrested by Wythe County authorities after they executed a search warrant at a residence on Reed Creek Road. Although Drain wasn’t inside the residence he was arrested a short time later during a foot chase on Reed Creek Road.

“Cody Drain attempted to flee by jumping into the Reed Creek to swim away from deputies. The water was very high and very cold so Drain decided to give up to deputies,” Dunagan said. “Wythe County deputies found narcotics in Drains pockets that was packaged to sell.”

Wythe County filed additional charges against Drain Wednesday for possession of hydrocodone with intent to sell, possession of oxycodone with intent to sell and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Drain now faces almost two-dozen charges. He is being held without bond at New River Valley Regional Jail.

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