Knox County Drug Round-Up Could Lead To More Than 30 People In Jail

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

Police are waging another battle in the war on drugs.

Police went after more than 30 suspected drug dealers during a round up in Knox County Saturday.

UNITE officials say drugs are a plague to eastern Kentucky.

“The drug trafficker is the worst in this plague, these people have to quit selling their medicines whether they legally obtained them or not,” says Dan Smoot of Operation UNITE.

“It's your typical rural eastern Kentucky county. It's a nice area to live, but there's also a drug problem,” says P.J. Burnett of Kentucky State Police.

Operation UNITE decided to switch up their tactics in their fight against drugs. This time, it was the middle of a Saturday afternoon when they decided to strike. They were hoping to catch up with most of the 31 suspected dealers they had warrants for and maybe even a few others with outstanding warrants or people carrying illegal drugs.

“We're working with UNITE. They requested assistance in rounding up a lot of these individuals that they've purchased illegal drugs from,” says Burnett.

“Each county per se has a drug of choice, in this county, oxycontin is the drug of choice,” says Smoot.

Although not all were arrested for pills, UNITE says many of the dealers are users themselves.

“You use to have the excuse ‘you couldn't afford treatment’. Well, UNITE will send you to treatment through the voucher program for free, so there is no excuses left not to seek treatment. The majority of these people that sell medications have a drug problem themselves,” says Smoot.

For accused drug dealers, UNITE officials say arresting them is only the first step. The next step is education and treatment.

“Enforcement, education and treatment. It's going to take communities pulling together to send that message that they will no longer tolerate drug dealing in the community,” says Smoot.

They're hoping by enforcing the laws they'll be making the county a little safer, one arrest at a time.

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Those arrested in connection with the weekend roundup are:

• John Henry Baker, age 72, Coalport Road, Artemus, second-degree trafficking a controlled substance, trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces and persistent felony offender.

• Kathy Williams Baker, age 41, Serenity Lane, Barbourville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Heather Cole, age 23, Highway 1527, Gray, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Mitzi Lynn Disney, age 45, Skyview Apartments, Barbourville, second-degree conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

• John Wesley Grubb, age 27, Spruce Street, Barbourville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ledford Hamilton III, age 27, John Carter Hollow Road, Artemus, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Paul Hubbard, age 47, Highway 1304, Barbourville, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces.

• Ashley Jones, age 25, Nan Duff Road, Kinkle, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, and two counts first-degree conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

• Travis Dewayne Marcum, age 22, Nan Duff Road, Hinkle, two counts first-degree conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance and one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Tommy Marsee, age 40, Serenity Lane, Barbourville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree.

• Leonard Messer, age 48, Skyview Apartments, Barbourville, second-degree conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

• Dean Smith, age 46, Coalport Road, Artemus, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Brian K. Simpson, age 40, Highway 225, Artemus, is currently in jail on unrelated charges and will be charged Monday with two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Jerry Allen Simpson, age 34, Highway 225, Artemus, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Michael Lee Smith, age 43, Coalport Road, Artemus, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Rondal P. Whitman, age 52, Jenny Lane, Corbin, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Last week, a suspect wanted from the August 25 roundup turned himself in to police:

• Earnest Alfred Collins Jr., age 32, Coalport Road, Artemus, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

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


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by SO Happy Location: Get Em Street on Oct 28, 2008 at 09:23 AM
    Now maybe the old people thats got coult will set a good exsample. stop selling your old drugs to our kids your worth nothen
  • by UNKNOWN Location: MANCHESTER on Sep 25, 2008 at 08:14 PM
    what they need to do is make all these people who are getting meds come in once a week for a pill count to make sure they are taking them right and not selling them
  • by William Location: seky on Sep 22, 2008 at 07:14 PM
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_state Is Hal Rogers and Boris Yeltsin kin people? They Look just alike Both real handsome men! You cant beat them Russian genes for handsome men a Lot of European settlers came right to these mountains you never know where them old people came from back in the day. we owe a lot to Handsome Hal. The Old Dog silver fox. he knows he is hot.
  • by worried Location: se ky on Sep 22, 2008 at 07:57 AM
    pain clinics and drug detox offices supply most of your drugs being sold illegally. they need to test every week to see if its their system and its really helping them. They sell their saboxin and other detox meds on the streets ive seen it!
  • by Bob Location: Jeff on Sep 22, 2008 at 07:53 AM
    Maybe we ought to cut off one of their fingers each time they're caught dealing drugs illegally!
  • by james Location: perry on Sep 22, 2008 at 06:49 AM
    Throwing these addicts in jail will not solve the problem, the problem is much deeper they need therapy,counseling and a job.
  • by Rudy B. Location: Pike on Sep 22, 2008 at 04:42 AM
    why don't they go to the source.the fed goveremnt. Fed.Social programs are the supplyer.Free dope for those who need it?? Its from the post office to the doctors office to the Pharm. to the parking lot.=Yet we never hear of any thing being done to curb the flow.The people who get this free dope are getting an extra income bump from its sale.Plus Social Sec. food stamps,free rent and heat.=then they wonder why they can't stop the dope.'WOW'==Its a set up folks,to keep jobs,and the money flowing into goverment sucks pockets.A real bad joke on us.
  • by stan on Sep 22, 2008 at 03:26 AM
    I think if a person are on meds from a doctor. that person should take a blood test every month to see if that medicine is in their system or are the meds being sold.
  • by steve Location: hazard ky on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:16 AM
    well said randy. at least someone has sence enough to know whats really going on.
  • by William Location: seky on Sep 21, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    Hal Rogers has seen that south east Kentucky has been target so hard are they trying to run the people out of this area I herd that Japan has a new electric car that is hitting the major market and you all know coal makes electricity and Hal Rogers is pushing real hard for clean coal production in seky Old Hal Knows what he is doing don't Kentucky have a Toyota plant? haven't you herd big drug test for coal miners now Government they gonna starve these hillbilly's out seky so they can get all the coal, first the weakest then the strongest and drug company's keep sending drugs in to this area so Drs can deal drugs Its all about money Pay the dumb to arrest the dumb and then put both dummies in jailon down the line waite until the real big Government starts arresting top UNITE officials, it could happen over nite. hahahah there will be weeping in the Hills.
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