March 20, 2014

Gambling machines seized

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Drug-related complaints and several DUI arrests in the East Bernstadt area resulted in an investigation that landed four people in jail and the seizure of several gambling machines at two area businesses.

The raid occurred on Friday afternoon at A & B Quick Stop, at the intersection of Old Richmond Road and Ky. 30, and at the East Bernstadt Shell Gas Mart on Ky. 490, approximately five miles north of London.

The investigation stemmed from numerous complaints to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office concerning drug trafficking in the area as well as numerous arrests for drug trafficking, drug possession and DUI — all within a close distance of the two businesses.

As a result, sheriff’s officials went to both stores around 3 p.m. Friday and seized numerous gambling machines. Persons at the two businesses who were using the gambling machines were checked, and four now facing legal charges.

Those arrested at A & B Quick Stop included:

• Jerry Durham, 37, of Ky. 3434 in London, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Durham allegedly had a glass pipe that is used to smoke methamphetamine as well as a .22 caliber handgun. Durham is a convicted felon and is not permitted to possess a firearm.

• Carla McWhorter, 36, of East Fourth St. in London, charged with an indictment warrant for manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense. McWhorter is also listed as being known as Carla Harris and Carla Howard.

• Steven Couch, 35, of Sublimity School Road in London, charged with a Laurel County bench warrant for failing to appear in court. Jail records indicate that Couch was jailed in May 2013 for a charge of exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more.

A fourth person was arrested at the East Bernstadt Shell Gas Mart on Ky. 490. Thomas Scott, 46, of Chapel Road in East Bernstadt was charged with a Laurel County bench warrant for failure to appear in court. Jail records indicate Scott did not appear to answer charges of no operator’s-moped license and failure to wear seat belts from a 2012 traffic charge.

All four were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center after their arrests.

The continuing investigation is being conducted by Detective Jason Back and Detective James Sizemore. Assisting at the scene were Sheriff John Root, Capt. Rodney Van Zant, Lt. Chuck Johnson, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, Sgt. Josh Gaylor, Sgt. Phil Barnard, Deputy Robbie Grimes, Deputy Larry Parrott, Deputy Daniel Grigsby, Deputy Shane Rice, Deputy John Inman, Deputy Tyler Morris, Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, Bailiff Brandon Broughton and Bailiff Andrew Lawson.