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Area men charged with prescription drug sales

Two area men face charges for allegedly selling a narcotic and other controlled substances.

Jeffery Lyn Grave, 49, of Donnelly, and John Wesley Hammick, 25, of Morris, appeared in Stevens County District Court on Friday.

The men were charged after allegedly selling the drugs to a police informant on May 6 and May 8.

Grave was charged with third-degree sale of a drug or mixture containing a narcotic, and two counts of fifth-degree sale of a Schedule 4 controlled substance.

Hammick faces one count of third-degree sale of a narcotic.

The penalty for the third-degree narcotic selling charges are 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine for each count.

The penalty for the fifth-degree sale charges is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

On the two days, the informant, working with Morris Police Department Specialist Shane Nelson, made drug buys from Grave and Hammick in Morris.

The narcotic charges stem from the sale of a generic form of Tylenol 3, which contains codeine, a Schedule II narcotic.

The other drugs sold were Tramadol HCL, an analgesic used to treat pain, Darvocet, an opioid analgesic also used to treat pain, and triamterence, a diuretic.

Fewer than two dozen tablets of the drugs were involved in the sales.

Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard said the case took about six months to culminate in charges, and is indicative of an increase in the illicit use of prescription medications.

Methamphetamine use has decreased recently, but the use of prescription drugs and cocaine has increased, he said.

"We've been making great strides on meth, but we're seeing a lot of prescription drug use and cocaine is making a big comeback," Beauregard said. "In every community, you go through periods when there's a lot of drug activity, then you make some arrests and the drug activity quiets down. But that void always gets filled."