MT. STERLING, Ky. (WKYT) - A six-month investigation by several Kentucky police departments led to multiple arrests in a suspected organized crime ring.
Police arrested 49-year-old Robert "Fish" Walters on Thursday night. Walters was the owner of Sullen Ink off Main Street in downtown Mount Sterling.
Police say Walters was selling drugs and guns out of his tattoo shop.
According to Kentucky State Police, Walters is the leader of an organization, dealing in "extremely large" quantities of oxycodone. Police say it operated much like a street gang, with duties for each member and even their own colors and insignia.
We talked to a business owner next-door, Thor Skidmore, who says he was at his business, Express Tech Repair, when law enforcement raided Sullen Ink on Main Street.
"I hadn't really seen anything crazy go on until that night and then all of a sudden insanity!" said Thor Skidmore. "I go to look out the front and there's 20 to 25 cops all standing here. They were coming and going and sounding like them tearing the place apart."
By the end of the investigation, police say they expect to make nearly 100 arrests.
Including Walters, five people have been charged with trafficking drugs, specifically oxycodone. They are also expected to be charged federally for being a part of a drug trafficking organization.
Those arrested include 39-year-old Angel Yarber, 39-year-old Shirley Ferguson, 31-year-old Leslie Smith, and 36-year-old Russell McFarland. They were arrested separately from Walters. Police tell us Yarber was an employee at Sullen Ink.
The DEA, FBI, sheriff's office, city police, and state police are involved in this drug raid.
Sullen Ink has shutdown and another tattoo parlor is already open at its old location.