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UNITE Targets 22 Dealers In Drug Investigation


JACKSON – An investigation by Operation UNITE into drug dealing in Breathitt County has resulted in indictment warrants for 22 individuals.

On Tuesday, July 31, police conducted a roundup to arrest these individuals. As of noon 10 suspects had been located and $1,460 in cash confiscated from one of the homes.

In addition, two of those identified as part of the investigation were previously charged and have since pled guilty.

Mike Luttrell, manager of UNITE’s Kentucky River Drug Task Force, explained that 26-year-old Richard Neil Deaton and 34-year-old Sean Griffith, both of Jackson, were already in jail when Circuit Judge Frank Fletcher noticed their names on the indictment list. Instead of waiting for the roundup, both men were arrested.

UNITE Prosecutor Bruce Herald said Deaton sold OxyContin to a cooperating witness in January and February 2007. He subsequently pled guilty and was sentenced to a total of 15 years in jail for two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

Griffith, of Highway 1110, pled guilty to one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (OxyContin) on Wednesday, July 25, Herald said. A five-year sentence will be recommended when he appears for formal sentencing.

The undercover investigation began around the first part of 2007 and primarily involved the sale of OxyContin and Lortab pills, Luttrell said.

Assisting with Tuesday’s roundup were members of the Jackson Police Department and Kentucky State Police.

Arrested during the roundup and lodged at the Three Forks Regional Jail were:

• Daniel Robert Brisley, age 37, Old Buck Road, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Angelee Cockerham, age 42, Highway 28, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Wanda Combs, age 42, Airplane Hollow, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Zechariah Gross, age 22, Old Buck Road, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Grover Napier, age 38, Old Buck Road, Jackson, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jeff Noble, age 27, Highway 205, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Maggie Noble, age 60, junction of Highway 28 and Highway 315, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ruby Noble, age 51, Highway 205, Jackson, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Johnny Turner, age 40, Elliot Turner Drive, Jackson, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ritchie Whitley, age 30, Lick Branch Talbert Road, Jackson, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

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


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