Sentinel-Echo.com

July 9, 2013

July 4th Roundup

More than 20 arrested in undercover drug investigations

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A package of fireworks sat in the front room of 54-year-old John Doneghey’s home on Thursday morning, but he wasn’t home that night to set them off.

Doneghey joined nearly two dozen other persons in the Laurel County Detention Center who were part of the Laurel Sheriff’s Office’s “Independence from Drug Dealers” roundup on July 4.

The Special Response Unit (SRU), London Police Department, Williamsburg Police Department and their K-9 dog, Kentucky State Police, and Constable Charlie Johnson joined members of the sheriff’s office as they combed the county with arrest warrants for persons who sold drugs during recent undercover drug investigations.

Even before daylight, the four teams spread out to various sections of the county, awakening the suspects with a knock on their door and warrant in hand.

Sheriff John Root said the drug roundup on a holiday was a targeted event, since often drug dealers will “stock up and sell over the holidays.” However, Root said none of Thursday’s arrests involved the possession or sale of methamphetamine, which has been a rampantly circulated drug within the county over the past several years.

“There was no meth, and we’re proud of that,” Root said. “But we are and will continue to send the message that if you are a drug dealer and if you come into this county, you can expect a visit from us real soon.”

Although those arrested Thursday were coined as “street level dealers,” Root said many of those receive pills from major dealers. And that, he said, will inevitably result in more arrests than just those taken into custody on Thursday morning.

“This has been several months in the planning,” Root said. “We do these early in the morning because we like the element of surprise. Most are still in bed.”

Those arrested during the Independence from Drug Dealers roundup and their charges include:

•  Robert McWhorter, 31, of Ky. 1376 East, East Bernstadt — charged with trafficking marijuana

• Douglas D. Hacker, 22, of Reams Lane, London — charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree criminal mischief, and resisting arrest

•  Jimmy Scalf, 40, of Star Hill Road, East Bernstadt  — charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender

• Elisha Carpenter, 35, of North Mill St., London —  charged with first-degree trafficking in a  controlled substance, first offense, and first-degree persistent felony offender  

• James Messer, 34, of Somerset Road, London  — charged with third-degree trafficking controlled substance, first offense

• Amy Johnson, 28 of Johnson Lane in Corbin — charged with possession of a controlled substance, first offense

• Roxie Chesnut, 51, of Lewis Street in Corbin — charged with second-degree trafficking controlled substance, first offense, and endangering the welfare of a minor

• Sherry Clark, 51, of Swiss Colony Lane, London —- charged with first-degree trafficking in a  controlled substance, first offense

• Barbara Maggard, 51, of East Bernstadt — charged with trafficking in marijuana and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Charlotte Gibson, 35, of Sweet Hollow Road in Corbin — charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, and endangering the welfare of a minor

• Kenneth Maggard, 29, of Hensley Road in East Bernstadt — charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in marijuana

• Kevin Brian Lay, 33, of Level Green Road in Corbin -  charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, and endangering the welfare of a minor

• Shane Henson, 32, of North Field Street, London — charged with third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• James J. Root, 28, of Ravenwood Circle, London  — charged with third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor

• Tabitha L. Carney, 31, of Powder Mill Road, London — charged with first-degree trafficking in  a controlled substance, first offense

• Wendall Helton, 40, of Lily Road, London — charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense, and first-degree persistent felony offender

• Eric Carney, 30, of Powder Mill Road, London — charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense and first-degree  persistent felony offender

• John Doneghey, 54, of South Laurel Road, London  — charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender

• Nicholas Cole, 33, of Barbourville Street, London — charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Kristy Johnson, 29, of Barbourville St., London — charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, and resisting arrest

• Estill Harris Jr., 50, of Foster Dr., London — charged with trafficking in  marijuana

• Tina Duran, 46, of Villagewood Court, London  — charged with third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense, and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense

• Aaron Simpson, 53, of Hensley Road, London - charged with possession of marijuana

Two other persons were arrested during the drug roundup after they were found in residences where other wanted persons were sought. Those two were:

• Travis Hundley, 38, of Ravenwood Circle in London was checked and arrested on an unrelated outstanding bench warrant where other suspects were being arrested on the drug roundup

• William J. Malicoat, 31, of North Mill Street, London was checked and arrested on an unrelated outstanding bench warrant where other suspects were being arrested on the drug roundup

Suspects who had warrants but were not found on Thursday morning are being sought by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. Their names will be released when they are arrested. Investigations into illegal drug activities will continue by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. According to Laurel County Sheriff John Root, the “War on Drugs” will be continuing in Laurel County.



njohnson@sentinel-echo.com