Two Dozen Drug Dealers Targeted In Morgan County

WEST LIBERTY - A seven month investigation in to street level drug dealing in Morgan County has resulted in indictment warrants for two dozen people.

"OxyContin, Morphine and Percocet were the most commonly purchased drugs," said Paul Hays, deputy law enforcement director for UNITE. "We also found some cocaine and Lorcet."

Detectives from UNITE were joined Wednesday morning by law enforcement officers from the West Liberty Police Department, Morgan County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service and Kentucky State Police in an effort to arrest those indicted on drug charges.

"Sheriff Mickey Whitt and Chief Kelse Hensley were a tremendous help throughout this investigation and we applaud their cooperation," Hays said. "Because of their assistance we have been able to build solid cases against these individuals."

Operating from the West Liberty Police Department, more than 20 officers began the round-up about 6:30 a.m. As of 1:30 p.m. they had located 16 of the wanted suspects.

After being processed at the police department, the men were taken to the Rowan County Detention Center while the women were lodged at the Carter County Detention Center.

"The individuals we are seeking today represent only a part of the drug problem in Morgan County," Hays noted. "We encourage citizens to report suspicious activity to our drug tip line ­ 1-866-424-4382."

Those arrested were:

* Victor Arnett, age 43, Carrie Street, Hazel Green (Wolfe County), second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Teresa Caldwell, age 24, Route 460, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Herbert Cantrell, age 31, Route 460, West Liberty, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Jacob Deaton, age 30, of Vest Branch, Ezel, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* James Ferguson, age 40, Hickory Road, West Liberty, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Claude D. Hollon, age 27, Gilmore Road, Hazel Green (Wolfe County), first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces.

* Jeffrey Howard, age 19, Wells Hill Road, West Liberty, four counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Jake Ison, age 19, Route 1000, West Liberty, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Ritchie Jones, age 42, Route 460, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Jeffrey Keeton, age 26, Broadway Street, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* James D. LeMaster, age 29, Wells Hill Road, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Shawn Rowe, age 21, River Road, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Raymond L. Spencer, age 52, Liberty Street, Ezel, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Christine W. Taylor, age 66, Liberty Street, Ezel, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Stacy Thornberry, age 22, Route 460, West Liberty, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* James ³Mike² Williams, age 26, Liberty Street, Ezel, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* * * * *

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 three 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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