January 21, 2014

38 arrested in federal drug roundup

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer


The scourge of methamphetamine in southeastern Kentucky was the focus of a federal drug roundup on Tuesday.

Approximately 38 persons were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center following their arrests by federal agents, all charged with either manufacturing methamphetamine or conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and all charged with unlawful distribution of a meth precursor.

Indictments against those accused of making and distributing methamphetamine were handed down in London’s United States Federal Court in December, although the indictments were sealed while authorities made arrangements to pick up those involved. Many of those indicted had their first court appearance in London on Tuesday. The majority of the cases came from Leslie and Clay counties, and included persons from Hyden and Thousand Sticks and Wooten communities in Leslie County as well as Manchester and Big Creek in Clay County. Big Creek is located near the border of the Clay-Leslie County line.

Two persons from London were part of those arrested during the roundup.

The offenses reportedly took place between early 2009 through November 2013.

Authorities with the United States Attorney’s Office in Lexington were close-lipped concerning the indictments and roundup, stating the investigation was still ongoing and information was limited at this point. Kyle Edelen with the Public Relations Department said more information would be released once all the accused persons had been arrested.

Manufacturing methamphetamine carries a penalty of 10-20 years, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.