June 19, 2014

Meth cases go to grand jury


Nine of 10 people arrested earlier this month for drug-related offenses will appear in Laurel Circuit Court on Friday for possible indictment.

Lisa Downs, 50, of Murray Cemetery Road in East Bernstadt; 32-year-old Kristopher Engle of Helvetia Road in London, 53-year-old Frankie Murray of McCracken Lane in London, and 31-year-old Roger Isom, also of London, all waived their preliminary hearing in Laurel District Court last week, choosing to have their information reviewed by a Laurel grand jury this week.

Downs, Engle, and Murray were all arrested on June 3 with 37-year-old Michael Lantos of Fisherman Cove Road in London and 40-year-old Steven Simpson of Star Hill Road in London, for manufacturing methamphetamine and  engaging in organized crime. 

Their arrests came after Sheriff’s officials went to Murray Cemetery Road and located a quantity of methamphetamine and the remains of a one-step meth lab. 

Downs, Engle and Murray waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, June 10, and were instructed to appear in Laurel Circuit Court on Friday. Lantos and Simpson proceeded with their preliminary hearings but Laurel District Judge Wendell “Skip” Hammons found that probable cause existed in their cases and ordered them to appear on Friday in Laurel Circuit Court for possible indictment.

Another five-member group also appeared for preliminary hearings last week before Hammons, with similar results. 

Juanita Elkins, 36, of North Mill St. in London, 37-year-old Elvis Proffitt, and 24-year-old Flora Westfelt all had a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, June 10 and Hammons ruled that probable cause of a felony offense had occurred. They were ordered to appear for possible indictment this Friday, June 20.

Roger Isom, 31, of London, waived his preliminary hearing and was ordered to appear with the three others in Laurel Circuit Court on Friday.

The fifth party in that meth-related arrest was 52-year-old Lawrence Stevens of East Pittsburg Church Road in London. According to court documents, Stevens is set for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 5.

All 10 persons remain incarcerated at the Laurel County Detention Center, according to jail records.

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