Five more individuals have been arrested as part of an Operation UNITE drug investigation in Laurel County.
A roundup targeting 34 suspected dealers took place Tuesday, October 23. By early afternoon officers from several agencies were able to locate and arrest 20 of these individuals.
That afternoon, UNITE detectives and officers from the London Police Department and Laurel County Sheriff¹s Office checked on numerous complaints. As a result, they discovered an inactive methamphetamine lab at a home on KY 1956 at Clearview Road.
UNITE has charged 58-year-old Gary W. Miller, of Somerset Road, London, with one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine and first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth).
At another residence, police arrested 37-year-old Robert D. Campbell, of Woodchuck Lane, London, with one count each of first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth) and second-degree possession of a controlled substance (Hydrocodone).
On Wednesday, officers were able to locate three more individuals wanted in the roundup. Charged were:
€ Roger Dale Blanton, age 56, no address available, Harlan, manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and second-degree persistent felony offender.
€ Darrel Mathis, age 43, of Robinson Creek Road, Manchester, unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors.
€ Sherry Minton, age 31, of Big Creek, Manchester, unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors.
Many of the cases involved with this investigation were made possible because of the new MethCheck program piloted by UNITE in Laurel County, said Det. Brian Lewis, with UNITE¹s Diversion unit.
MethCheck is an electronic reporting program that tracks purchases of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of methamphetamine production. The program pilot program proved so successful that Kentucky is set to implement MethCheck in all Kentucky pharmacies by next summer.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org
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In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold ³Hal² 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