WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

UNITE Investigation Includes Several States

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

It's a constant battle, but it's one that's expanding.

It's already something law enforcement officers fight on a daily basis.

New information shows how their efforts are spreading across the country.

UNITE officials say they have been working with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies to find out just how far people will go to bring drugs to the region.

For the past few months, UNITE officials say they've been busy rounding up those possessing illegal prescription pills and those who supply them.

They say the drug ring investigation spans from Detroit, Michigan to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and all the way down to Florida.

“The Dave Haddix case, which is around Breathitt County, he pled guilty to over a hundred thousand OxyContin ad's. The Joe Hall case in Knott, Letcher, Perry… Mr. Hall was recently arraigned,” Dan Smoot said.

59 year old John David Haddix pleaded guilty in January.

The FBI is working with UNITE Traffic Control Officer Randy Hunter.

He worked the Philadelphia case where he says more then 100 patient files were subpoenaed at urgent care services in Philadelphia.

“The conspiracy that we indicted on alleges 50 thousand methadone tablets and 150 OxyContin tablets. The street value on those tablets you are looking at several million dollars,” Hunter said.

Hunter says they have identified Timothy Wayne Hall from Floyd County as the ring leader.

Officials say he along with 19 others are charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute methadone and OxyContin tablets.

Since the state set up the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting or KASPER officials say the new system has made it harder for drug dealers to keep a supply and easier on law enforcement's ability to track prescriptions.

“There is a big market for them and it is the drug of choice for east Kentucky, but east Kentucky law enforcement is focused on this problem,” Smoot said.

UNITE Law Enforcement Officer Dan Smoot says the current drug ring investigation is still on-going and more charges are likely.

UNITE officials say those charged with conspiracy to possess methadone and OxyContin could face up to 20 years in jail no matter where they live.

UNITE officials say they've have stopped more then millions of dollars worth illegal drugs throughout the recent drug ring investigation.


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