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November 21, 2012

DRUG ROUNDUP: 21 arrested in joint law enforcement effort

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Even before the sun peeped over the horizon, law enforcement officials from throughout the county were traveling along the county’s highways and by-ways in search of drug traffickers.

Most of the persons visited by the officers were still asleep when the knocking came at their door, although some were awake as the dawn lit up the skies in the early morning hours.

Their journeys resulted in the arrests of 21 persons, all of whom were taken to the Laurel County Detention Center following their arrests.

The effort included officers from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, London Police Department, Kentucky State Police, and United States Marshal Service, who formed four teams to spread out throughout the county to serve warrants stemming from several undercover investigations by Sheriff’s Detective Brad Mitchell and Detective Jason Back.

The charges against those persons arrested included trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of illegal drugs and marijuana.

Sheriff John Root said the drug roundup efforts are done during the early morning hours as an “element of surprise” and is a continuation of his campaign promise to fight the drug problem in the county.

“This effort is several months of work that our narcotics officers have done,” Root said. “We want to keep sending the message to these people that if they continue to deal drugs, they’ll continue to see us.”

Most of those arrested during Friday’s roundup are what Root described as “street level dealers.”

“Most of the charges today are trafficking in a controlled substance, that includes Hydrocodone, marijuana, Valium and meth — drugs that are the most prevalent in the area,” Root added. “Drugs are the root of all evil and the working people of the area are seeing the thefts, burglaries, home invasions and thefts in outbuildings where they (drug users) can get stuff to buy more drugs.”

Root said there were 40 arrest warrants but not all wanted persons were arrested on Friday.

“These type of people change addresses often, or are ‘frequent flyers’ as we call them,” he added. “A lot of these are repeat offenders, but I’ve seen a lot of new faces today. For some, this is a way of living and a lot of it is prescription medication.”

Those arrested and charge during Friday’s roundup were:

• Janice House, 60, Philpot Road, London, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Douglas House, 43, Philpot Road, London, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Patricia Webb, 61, Caleb Lane Apartments, Corbin, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Melvin E. Mounts, 35, Caleb Lane Apartments, Corbin, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Debra Renee Vaughn, 29, South Kentucky Avenue, Corbin, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense

• Tommy A. North, 32, VanZant Road, Lily, second-degree possession of a controlled substance

• Lisa D. Whicker, 45, Ky. 1064, Corbin, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, fist offense; third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• James P. Creech, 35, Corbin Manor Apartments, Corbin, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, two counts

• Jerry W. Wright, 57, Ky. 1023, Lily, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Wanda Sue Stidham, 56, East Laurel Road, London, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense

• Phillip B. Stigall, 46, Keavy Road, London, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Patricia Collett, 50, Keavy Road, London, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Dora E. Stuntebeck, 47, Pleasant View Motor Home Park, London, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense

• Marty L. Sizemore, 49, Fariston Road, London, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Don C. Wooton, 50, Tom Cat Trail, London, cultivating marijuana, five plants or more, second offense

• Terry E. Johnson, 50, Willie Green Road, London, cultivating marijuana, less than five plants, second offense

• Linda Sue Jordan, 37, Watkins Branch, East Bernstadt, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, two counts

• Bobby Sisco, 48, Old Richmond Road, East Bernstadt, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Nancy Wagner, 38, Vermillion Drive, Corbin, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• James E. Reed, 51, Miller Tilley, Science Hill, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense

• Jimmy Worthington, 28, Pepperhill Drive, London, trafficking in marijuana, less than eight ounces

Some suspects were not at home and are still 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 area law enforcement.

Anyone suspecting illegal drug activity in their community is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at (606) 864-6600. Callers may remain anonymous.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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