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Border Business Trading Drugs For Stolen Goods Has Been Busted

By: Jim Freeman Email
By: Jim Freeman Email

Police along the Tennessee-Kentucky border say crime is up.

And thefts and burglaries are a direct result of illegal drugs.

Former WYMT reporter Jim Freeman visited a business that police say has dealt in stolen merchandise for years and has the story.

Williamsburg police recently raided the place and made three arrests.

They picked up Douglas Manis, Johnny Ray Rogers, and Benny Alfred Walp, Junior.

Police say it's a continuing problem.

Williamsburg Police Lieutenant Detective Wayne Bird says, "since 1998, we've executed numerous search warrants at that exact same location. It's just been different business names and different people over the years."

One time it was a junk yard.

This time, it's a recycling center taking in metals and aluminum.

But police say there's also other business.

Bird says, "they're selling Oxycontin and cocaine and taking stolen property in on trade for those types of drugs.

Stolen property like boxes of new clothes still with tags attached.

Bird continues, "Brand new lawn mowers that still had tags on them all kinds of tools, construction equipment with serial numbers ground off of them."

As a result Williamsburg Police arrested three Tennessee men in this latest bust on Kenny Bug Road.

Which is in the Pleasant View community of Whitley County just about 30 yards shy of the Tennessee state line.

Charged this time were 57 year old Douglas Manis of Pioneer 39 year old Johnny Ray Rogers, of Jellico and 34 year old Benny Alfred Walp, Junior, of Pioneer on drug charges.

Rogers and Walp also face charges of tampering with evidence.

Last summer, Scott County authorities paid a visit to the same address.

Scott County Sheriff Anthony Lay says, "the sheriff's department conducted an investigation and recovered a lot of stolen merchandise from businesses and residences of Scott County from this area.

Lieutenant Bird says what makes this so unique is the number of times police have executed search warrants at this same location over the years.

"People who are addicted to this stuff are desperate, and they'll take anything and everything and trade it for narcotics. I mean we see it everyday."

All three men are out on bond and, as of yet, do not have an attorney.

Campbell County Sheriff Gary Perkins told me he is suspicious of this place of business but has not recovered any stolen items from there.

In this latest round, police confiscated 23 bags of cocaine, along with Oxycontin, a car, two-thousand dollars in cash along with a fully loaded hand gun.


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