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Three Enter Guilty Pleas To Drug Trafficking

JACKSON - Three people pled guilty to drug trafficking charges during court appearances in September.

A trial for 41-year-old Walter Turner of Williamstown (Grant County) began in Breathitt Circuit Court on Tuesday, September 25. Before the jury selection process was completed, however, his attorney notified UNITE Prosecutor Bruce Herald that he wanted to enter plead guilty to one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Turner was charged with selling one-half of an 80mg OxyContin tablet to an undercover UNITE detective.

Commonwealth Attorney Darrell Herald recommended that Turner receive a 10-year sentence, serving five with the remainder probated for five years. Circuit Judge Frank Allen Fletcher set a sentencing hearing for October 19.

During a status hearing on September 21 in Lee Circuit Court, 26-year-old Jonathan Davis of Beattyville entered a guilty plea to trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school for selling one and a half Klonopin tablets near Beattyville Elementary on June 28, 2006.

Commonwealth Attorney Heather Combs recommended he serve two years in jail. Circuit Judge Thomas Jones set a sentencing hearing for October 23.

On September 6 in Wolfe Circuit Court, 61-year-old Brenda Kaye Banks pled guilty to two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, said UNITE Prosecutor Herald. Banks sold a Morphine pill to a cooperating witness and to an undercover police officer in March 2005.

Commonwealth Attorney Herald recommended five years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrent. Judge Fletcher set a sentencing hearing for November 8.

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

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In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-Somerset) worked to create Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative empowering citizens groups and community leaders in 29 southern and eastern Kentucky counties. UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, seeks to fight the drug epidemic by expanding drug awareness and education programs to keep people from using drugs; coordinating drug treatment and outreach programs for those who are already addicted; and operating regional undercover law enforcement task forces for interdiction and prosecution of those dealing drugs. Rogers has directed $33.1 million in federal funds to the counter-drug initiative over the past four years. For more information contact Karen Engle toll-free at 1-866-678-6483.

Drug Tip Hotline - 1-866-424-4382 / Treatment Referral Hotline - 1-866-90-UNITE (1-866-908-6483)


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