Drug Bust In Letcher County

By: Sean Evans Email
By: Sean Evans Email

Prep work began early to make sure all the paperwork was in line to take twenty one alleged drug dealers into custody.

Once the first arrests were made, the clock starts ticking.

"It's a network of who's helping who out. They'll launch phone calls saying that somebody's been picked up or they heard this or they heard that. And people started moving around and moving out of the county or going to places to hide," said Chief Deputy Brian Damron with the Letcher County Sheriff's Office.

It seemed for every house the Letcher County Sheriff's deputies came up empty, they found who they were looking for at the next house.

This neighborhood guard was not enough to keep Billy Hubbs of Patridge from being arrested...he's charged with first degree trafficking.

"We just want everyone to know that when complaints come in we check them out, and if these individuals, whether they've never been to prison or prosecuted before or not, we're still gonna look at them," said Paul Hayes with Operation UNITE.

Operation UNITE conducted the year long investigations and all alleged dealers were taken into custody with the help of several Letcher County Sheriff's deputies.

Here is a list of all that have been taken into custody so far:

• Wayne Back, age 45, of Linefork, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Billy Ray Fields, age 54, of Court Road, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. At the time of his arrest a quantity of hydrocodone was found and he will be charged with a second count of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Clarence Halcomb, age 55, of Galloway Acres, Partridge, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Billy Hubbs, age 50, of Highway 3073, Partridge, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Johnny Osborne, age 44, Highway 199 South, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• George Thomas, age 69, Circle Drive, Whitesburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Matthew Alan Whitaker, age 25, of Highway 119 South, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 30, 2011 at 05:05 PM
    well they just get fine no jail time i bet
  • by Anonymous on Apr 2, 2011 at 09:26 PM
    There would be a whole lot more if they were not tipped off. The dealers and users need to be arrested in my opinion. If no one abused them there would be no one to sell too. Take away the demand = no supply.
  • by charles Location: ivel on Mar 17, 2011 at 05:24 AM
    The first case I ever worked for the IRS related to a seizure of home/boat/cars/assets of a drug dealer whose dope value/income was taxed by the government. The sheriff's dept seized all sorts of boats/cars/homes etc.. if they were used in the commission of a felony. I agree with a previous commentor that if we hit them hard in the pocketbook if would help immensely. We also need to immediately remove anyone caught selling dope from the SSI/SSA and entitlement rolls. Be a dope head, sell dope-lose your draw!
  • by KKEVIN on Mar 16, 2011 at 05:21 PM
    people showing their ignorance by blaming rand paul or george bush for every problem is not a solution, if our governor dont get his head out of his rear you can thank him for all the problems Ky is going to have.
  • by A CAREING HEART Location: Harlan on Mar 16, 2011 at 03:16 PM
    Frist off for everyone caught there will be two or three more to take their place. I agree with Ky Taxpayer on some things but you have to stop and understand why these people are selling these drugs. Mind you that it is wrong to sell drugs for any reason. You say to take away their checks, well did you ever think about if these people have kids and who would suffer from this the most ? drugs have taken over the lifes of so many people and will only cause them to DIE OR BE IN PRISON. Not to mention what will happen to their kids, which in most homes they end up in foster care. This is a sad time not only here but everywhere else that drugs are being sold. My heart goes out to the families of these people because drugs are tearing up their lifes in so many ways.
  • by Anonymous Location: Hazard on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM
    Shuting down the pain clinics in Eastern Kentucky might be another good place to start.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    some might not have been caught if they had a good flushing toilet like Rand Paul is spending his time in Washington complaining about(joke of the day).
  • by Ky Taxpayer Location: Letcher County on Mar 16, 2011 at 08:41 AM
    What do you call 21 drug dealers arrested in Letcher County? A good start. There are many more. Also, they need more than a slap in the face. Hit them where it hurts-not jail time, because all that accomplishes is they get free room and board. Hit them in the pocketbook - make them pay huge fines, and pay taxes on the illegal income. The state and county needs it. Get the IRS involved to estimate their illegal income and make them pay taxes on it. If they are "on the draw", take away their checks. Make it unprofitable to sell drugs, and they will quit. If they repeat, send them to a boot camp, then to the military instead of prison. Prisons just breed more violent criminals. Minor offenders can get back on track in our drug court system, but major offenders need more. And the public needs to get more involved, and not be afraid of them. Report anyone who has a lot of "15 minute friends", or is driving a Corvette while drawing SSI, or not working.
  • by Liberalmom Location: Hazard on Mar 16, 2011 at 05:02 AM
    Great job. Now when are they going to bust all the ones in Perry who are openly selling in Grapevine and in town? Heck one of my neighbors has curb side service where they blow the horn and he runs out and sells right out in the open. Kids can't even play outside for it.
  • by jim Location: united states of america on Mar 16, 2011 at 03:56 AM
    will the real drug king pins stand up are they in government, are they in buisnesses in ky. next time i read about arest in drugs,i want to see the names of the users too. these people can and must be placed in jail along side of those that sale the drugs.fighting drugs is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline if the usere arn't taken off the street too make it a law if the users arnt taken off the street the dealers can't be arested either. common sinse isn't it. the state keeps these ppl up anyways with food stamps and welfare and work for minium wage too this will inturn open a few jobs that healthy normal ppl need. i will see a law places in hedquarters around the untied states to arest the users if not i will require no insurance needed to drive no seat belts required for ppl over the age of 18. all of america should dennestrate for their righte to be reintstted
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