HAZARD A routine traffic stop Wednesday night has resulted in the arrest of two men suspected of interstate drug trafficking.
Charged by Operation UNITE with first-degree trafficking in a controlled
substance were 53-year-old John W. Tapioi, of Windrock Hollow, Hazard, and 45-year-old Brad Smith, of Judwich Drive, Columbus, Ohio.
Additionally, Tapioi was charged with public intoxication (drugs) by
Operation UNITE, and Smith was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs by the Perry County Sheriff¹s Office.
At approximately 11:40 p.m. Perry County Deputy Shannon Woods observed a 1992 Cadillac speeding on the Hal Rogers Parkway near Exit 56 just outside Hazard. After stopping the vehicle, Woods realized that UNITE had received complaints that these individuals were traveling out of state to pick up drugs to sell in Perry County.
UNITE detectives, additional sheriff¹s deputies, and KSP K-9 Trooper James Sandlin were called to assist at the scene.
The K-9 alerted on the trunk, where officers discovered 250 Methadone pills with a street value of approximately $3,750.
Tapioi and Smith were lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at