326 Pounds Of Marijuana Seized

MIDDLESBORO – Four Tennessee residents are in federal custody after law enforcement officers intercepted a large load of marijuana meant for Southeastern Kentucky.

A combined investigation by Operation UNITE detectives and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led to an arranged undercover delivery of processed marijuana at the Wal-Mart store in Middlesboro about 10:45 p.m. Thursday, October 25.

Assisting with the sting were officers from the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, Middlesboro Police Department and Kentucky State Police K-9 Unit.

“Law enforcement officers confiscated 96 pounds of marijuana in Middlesboro,” said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for UNITE. “Further investigation led to the discovery of an additional 230 pounds in a storage unit in Lafollette, Tennessee, early Friday morning.”

“This marijuana was ultimately meant for delivery to Harlan County,” Smoot noted. “Now it will be sent to the KSP Crime Lab in London for analysis.”

Four people were arrested by the DEA and taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service. They were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.

• Jason A. Alvezios, East Hemlock Street, Lafollette, Tennessee.

• Brandi Nicole Layne, age 24, Melvin Lane, Lafollette, Tennessee.

• Jordan R. Martin, Perkins Lane, Jacksboro, Tennessee.

• Tildem J. Crase, Straight Branch Road, Speedwell, Tennessee. He also maintains a residence in Letcher County.

All four individuals were lodged without bond. They were scheduled for an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Robert Weir in U.S. District Court in London on Friday afternoon.

During an initial appearance the suspects learn the charges, are advised of their rights, and are appointed an attorney if needed, according to the U.S. District Court Clerk. Dates may also be set for a detention hearing or preliminary hearing on the charges.

For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org.

* * * * *

In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-Somerset) worked to create Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative empowering citizens groups and community leaders in 29 southern and eastern Kentucky counties. UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, seeks to fight the drug epidemic by expanding drug awareness and education programs to keep people from using drugs; coordinating drug treatment and outreach programs for those who are already addicted; and operating regional undercover law enforcement task forces for interdiction and prosecution of those dealing drugs. Rogers has directed $33.1 million in federal funds to the counter-drug initiative over the past four years. For more information contact Karen Engle toll-free at 1-866-678-6483.

Drug Tip Hotline – 1-866-424-4382 / Treatment Referral Hotline – 1-866-90-UNITE (1-866-908-6483)

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  • by annyonomous Location: somewhere on Oct 31, 2009 at 09:16 AM
    What happened to a persons rights. It isn't right that all of someones information is posted all over the web. Also, before hateful comments are made all of the facts should be known and in this case half of this story isn't correct. Before you drag someones name in the mud you should be wise enough to get true and accurate facts and know the situation so that those people you write about don't look like a piece of crap. Also if people need to know this they need to go to the bop website instead of having their lives posted for every one to see. Also the charges against Brandi Layne were dismissed in this case. So think before making horrible comments about people. Learn the facts people news stations make you believe what they want you to believe get you own mind. Also for noting purposes none of these people were a harm to anyones child or anyone else for that matter.
  • by Jean Location: ky on Oct 28, 2007 at 08:22 PM
    Whats the matter anonymous,didn't get your part.I think they have done A great job.More power to them ,get it off the street. Maybe some ones child will live.Also great job K.S.P.
  • by Little Debbie on Oct 27, 2007 at 05:10 PM
    So much for the last quater sales.
  • by Hostess Delivery Man Location: KY on Oct 27, 2007 at 12:48 PM
    Jeez oh man, just when you think business will start picking up on the sale of Twinkies, this happens.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Oct 27, 2007 at 12:04 PM
    Well, there goes my plans for the weekend...
  • by concerned Location: Kentucky on Oct 27, 2007 at 04:26 AM
    Way to go!! This is finally a significant amount of drugs off the street. Obviously, this was a major shipment from a major dealer. Now we need to continue and to get the big pill pushers, not just the smalltime guy making a fast buck..then we will consider that there is progress in stopping the drug traffic in our area.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 26, 2007 at 07:00 PM
    in reference to the 326 pounds of marijuana supposedly seized by the unite drug task force it should be noted that they had no involvement with this case until the operation was completed. all information was obtained by the kentucky state police and then subsequently given to the DEA. the unite task force has from the very beggining taken credit for cases that they have nothing to do with. the informant in this case was handled by KSP up to the point that the DEA was made aware of the situation. it would appear that political pressure has been placed on the DEA to include unite in their investigations to make it seem that they are doing a good job. I beleive that if the tax payer had a choice and knew the truth about operation unite that they would prefer the millions of dollars wasted on unite be utilized by the agencies who are actually doing the work.


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