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UVa-Wise grad tapped Virginia ABC special agent for Southwest Virginia region

Aaron Cathell, a 2006 graduate of UVa-Wise, has been selected as a Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) special agent assigned to the Roanoke regional office, which covers 28 counties and the cities of Bedford, Buena Vista, Covington, Lexington, Martinsville, Roanoke, Salem, Bristol, Galax, Norton and Radford. Cathell will be based in Wise County with a territory that also includes Dickenson County and the City of Norton.

As a special agent, Cathell is a sworn and certified police officer vested with statewide authority of arrest for ABC violations, as well as any other Virginia criminal law violation. The ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement employs a statewide force of special agents who oversee more than 16,000 establishments licensed to sell alcohol.

ABC special agents also conduct investigations involving underage sales, fake IDs and other alcohol-related crimes including narcotics and weapons violations, tobacco smuggling, money laundering, tax fraud and counterfeiting.

During fiscal year 2012 ABC's Bureau of Law Enforcement conducted 9,647 criminal investigations, made 1,811 arrests and completed 7,309 inspections of licensed establishments.

Prior to joining ABC Cathell served as an officer and investigator for the Town of Wise Police Department for four years. Before that he was a deputy sheriff in Wise County from 2006 to 2009. Cathell was also an associate advisor to the Wise Police Department Explorer Post, a program sponsored by the Wise Police Department designed to involve and educate young adults in the career field of law enforcement.

Cathell graduated from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise with a bachelor’s degree in history. He is a candidate for a master’s degree in criminal justice leadership from New England College.