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SW Va police officer faces drug charges

Thursday - 11/29/2012, 4:06pm  ET

ABINGDON, Va. - A southwestern Virginia police officer has been charged with drug distribution.

Pennington Gap Police Officer John Charles Kelly faces two counts of distributing pain pills. Federal prosecutors say the 38-year-old Kelly could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Edward Gaines Stout Jr. says Kelly pleaded not guilty Thursday. Kelly said in court that he has been suspended from his job. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bond, and a jury trial was set for Feb. 4 in Big Stone Gap.

Stout says he met Kelly for the first time Thursday and has not yet seen the government's evidence.

In October, Pennington Gap Police Chief William Bryan Young was charged with distributing pain pills and possessing a gun while illegally using and dealing drugs.

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