Local men involved in Wythe chase

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State police pursued Independence man who fled from traffic stop; suspected methamphetamine found in car

By The Staff

WYTHEVILLE — Two men from the Twin Counties are facing felony charges after leading state police on a chase in Wythe County.
An incident report says the driver rammed a Virginia State Police trooper’s vehicle during the pursuit, but no officers were injured.
The pair also faces local charges for unrelated crimes.
According to a state police report, the May 20 incident began when a vehicle fled from a license and registration checkpoint in Wythe County.
Trooper Christopher Viars reported that Jared Scott Marsh, 26, of Independence, was driving a Honda Civic that stopped at the checkpoint. Marsh reportedly told Viars that he didn’t have a driver’s license; the trooper told him to pull into a parking lot.
Instead, Marsh fled the scene and police gave chase.
Viars reported that Marsh nearly struck a youth riding a bicycle on the side of road during the pursuit, and allegedly rammed one of the trooper’s vehicles.
Police were able to stop Marsh using a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver, the report said.
Marsh and a passenger in the car, Jacob Gray Cooley, 20, of Galax, were taken to Wythe County Community Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.
The police report said officers found bags of suspected methamphetamine in Marsh’s vehicle. Viars said Marsh told police two of the bags were his, and rest belonged to Cooley.
State police charged Marsh with drug possession, eluding police, possession of drugs with intent to distribute and driving while intoxicated. Cooley was charged with felony drug possession.
Both men are being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin; Marsh without bond and Cooley on a $2,500 bond. Both have preliminary hearings set for Oct. 30 in Wythe County General District Court.
Locally, Marsh was convicted of driving without a license in October 2018 in Carroll County. A grand jury in Grayson County is set to consider charges of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia in July, and he is awaiting trial on a drug distribution charge in Grayson, as well.
Earlier this month, Cooley was convicted in Galax General District Court of driving with a revoked license (second offense) and driving with defective equipment.