Three individuals were arrested Sunday after about three pounds of crystal methamphetamine were discovered in a residence in Gray and another in southern Laurel County, following a two month long investigation.

John Helton, 44, of Gray; Nursilla Anita Helton-Fox, 39, of Gray; and Patsy Hopkins, 63, of Corbin were all arrested for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance after the meth was located.

Knox County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sam Mullins executed a search warrant at a camper being utilized as a residence on Garland Cemetery Road in Gray on Sunday. The search was the result of a two-month investigation into complaints of illegal drug trafficking at that location.

Deputy Mullins identified the man living in the camper as Helton and learned he was wanted on a Whitley County bench warrant. Prior to the search, Deputy Mullins arrested Helton on the Whitley County warrant for failure to appear on two counts of first-degree trafficking in controlled substance and Persistent Felony Offender I.

During the arrest a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine was located. Deputy Mullins obtained and executed a search warrant on the premises.

During the search approximately one pound of suspected crystal methamphetamine was located along with a small amount of marijuana, digital scales, three loaded handguns and over $800 in cash.

Helton was then charged with first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, possession of firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana.

Helton-Fox was also arrested and charged with first-degree trafficking in controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While conducting the investigation at the camper, information was developed connecting a residence on Highway 1223 in southern Laurel County. A search was conducted at that residence also.

Approximately two pounds of suspected crystal crystal methamphetamine and $8,000 in cash were located at that residence.

Hopkins was arrested and charged with first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, carrying concealed weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The wanton endangerment charges are due to the approximately two pounds of crystal methamphetamine being found hidden inside a playhouse being used by four children.

Knox County Deputy Bobby Jones and Laurel County Deputies K-9 Handler Jake Miller, Brian Lawson and Robert Reed assisted in the search and arrests at both locations.

Operation UNITE also provided assistance during in the investigation and arrests.

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