Drug Round-Up Uses More Than Just Law Enforcement

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

A drug roundup targeting about 25 accused drug dealers enlists the help of more than just law enforcement officers Wednesday.

It started Wednesday morning in Harlan County.

The role of faith and recovery made this about more than just arrests.

Two teams of law enforcement made their way through Harlan County attempting to round up these suspects and remove them from the community, but right behind them came a team of ministers calling themselves the Chaplin Corp.

Officials in one county have decided to face the drug problem head on and more importantly together.

“The Kentucky State Police and the Harlan County Sherriff's Office decided that when I first took office that we would start working together. Together we've worked to stop the drug problem in Harlan County,” Sheriff Marvin Lipfird said.

Two of the men arrested today were Johnny Pennington and Daniel Neff. Police say narcotics were also recovered on Neff's property.

“We hope to have a couple, three, every year we're constantly out working buying drugs, executing search warrants,” Sheriff Lipfird said.

Along for the ride, was the Chaplin Corps of Harlan County. A group of pastors, ministers, and other religious leaders from the area are working with the Sheriff's Office to lessen the impact during and after the arrest.

“Our main role in this is to go out with them, if they've got family members such as kids or their wives or whatever, we try to talk to them, keep everybody calm,” Bill Ball, Chaplin Corps Captain said.

Back in January, the group started with two, but now has 17 local Chaplins involved.

“We're just trying to provide comfort, some understanding, offering a hand of help, encouragement and hope,” Ball said.

The people with the Chaplin Corps say they want even more people involved and are working on a drug rehab center.

The sheriff’s office made 22 arrests in connection with drug trafficking.

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