A roundup of suspected drug dealers landed 20 people in jail on various charges, the result of traffic stops, unrelated drug investigations, and investigation into citizen complaints conducted by the Laurel County Sheriff's Office.

From those investigations, the Sheriff's Office confiscated methamphetamine, heroin, Xanax, hydrocodone, Gabapentin, assorted pills, scales, hypodermic needles, glass pipes with white residue that is suspected to be methamphetamine, cut straws with residue. Several individuals were charged with possessing and trafficking illicit drugs and having drug paraphernalia. Several others had outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court on drug charges.

Those arrested were:

• Lee Merritt, Sr., 55, arrested off Hawk Creek Road and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication – controlled substances.

• Justin Mullins, 27, of Old County Road, McKee, Ky. - arrested on Hal Rogers Parkway in London charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; third-degree possession of a controlled substance; prescription controlled substances not in proper container, first offense and resisting arrest.

• Destiny Hobbs, 19, of Mildred Road, McKee, Ky. - arrested off Wendell Way in London and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense.

• Steven Wayne Helton, 35, of Hanes Baker Road in Corbin - arrested off West Cumberland Gap Pkwy. and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; second-degree possession of a controlled substance; prescription controlled substances not in proper container, first offense; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Kenny Blake Wagers, Jr., 21, of McWhorter Road, London - arrested off McWhorter Road and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; first-degree possession of a controlled substance, heroin, first offense; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Charles Nantz, 30, of Clancy Lane in Lily - arrested off Clancy Lane and charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; second-degree wanton endangerment; three counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Ricky Lee Miracle, 33, of Cecil Wyatt Road in Corbin - arrested off West Cumberland Gap Pkwy. and charged on a Whitley Circuit Court bench warrant of arrest charging court order violation regarding charges of first-degree possession of a controlled substance , methamphetamine, first offense; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Kimberly Ann Hubbard, 33 of Blake Drive in London - arrested off Miracle Lane in London and charged with public intoxication – controlled substances; second-degree disorderly conduct, and an outstanding Laurel District Court bench warrant for failure to appear in court. Hubbard allegedly admitted using methamphetamine prior to her arrest.

• Ashley R. Smith, 24, of Barr Creek Road in Oneida, Ky., arrested off East Laurel Road. and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

• Christopher Adam Cole, 32, of Runnels Branch Road, Littcarr, Ky., arrested on KY 490 charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, first offense; possession of drug paraphernalia with meth residue; and operating on suspended or revoked operator's license.

• Rebecca Caudill, 32, of Runnels Branch Road, Littcarr, Ky. - arrested on KY 490 and charged with public intoxication – controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia with meth residue.

• Joseph Chad Curry, 45, of Curry Road in London - arrested off Curry Road and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

• James Marcum, 46, of East Laurel Road in London - arrested off East Laurel Road and charged on a failure to appear warrant.

• Mary Melissa Roark, 36, of Fire House Road in East Bernstadt - charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense.

• Landon Collins, 32, of Locust Grove Road in London - arrested off East 4th Street in London and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Irvin Johnson, 34, of Taylor Subdivision Road in London - arrested off Tobacco Road and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree wanton endangerment – police officer is victim.

• Angela Shepherd, 43, of Sally's Branch Road in London - arrested off Slate Lick Road and charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine, second offense; and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense.

• Linda Jane Wallace, 50, of Van Hollow Road, McKee, Ky. - arrested off Slate Lick Road charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, second offense; driving on DUI suspended license, first offense; first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine, second offense; third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense; prescription controlled substances not in proper container, first offense; and driving on DUI suspended license, first offense.

• Johnny Gregory, 51, of Highway 472 in Manchester - arrested off Slate Lick Road and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Marsha Denny, 41, of Sally's Branch Road in London - arrested off Slate Lick Road and charged with public intoxication – controlled substances; possession of drug paraphernalia.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root campaigned on the "War on Drugs" for his first term of office in 2011. His office has the full cooperation of Laurel County Attorney Jodi Albright and Laurel Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele as the Laurel County Sheriff's Office and Laurel County's prosecutors work side-by-side to eradicate the drugs which destroy the future of this county.

Assisting for the Laurel Sheriff's office were: Laurel Sheriff John Root, Maj. Chuck Johnson, Lieut. Chris Edwards, Detective James Sizemore, Detective Bryon Lawson, Detective Taylor McDaniel, Capt. Robbie Grimes, Deputy Brad Mink, Deputy Landry Collett, Deputy Justin Taylor, Deputy Tommy Houston, Deputy James Fox, Deputy Robert Reed, Deputy Daniel Reed, Deputy Kevin Berry, K-9 Deputy Gary Mehler and his K-9 “Edge”, K-9 Deputy Jake Miller and his K-9 “Gotcha”.

*(The Ralph Hoskins that was arrested was not the Ralph Hoskins running as a state representative.)

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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