A Pulaski County farm will be auctioned and a Somerset man sentenced to prison as a result of an investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, according to Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery.
In June 2006, deputies from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office discovered more than 800 marijuana plants growing around a residence on William Sears Road. Further investigation revealed several firearms in the residence.
Deputies determined that Mark D. Shoemaker, 39, of Somerset had been growing the marijuana at the residence. In addition, the deputies discovered a photo of Shoemaker holding one of the firearms while standing beside a large patch of marijuana.
According to UNITE Prosecutor David L. Dalton, on Thursday December 21, Shoemaker entered a plea of guilty to cultivation of marijuana over 5 plants while in possession of a firearm. Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette sentenced Shoemaker to 8 years imprisonment.
In addition, the house, property, firearms, and several vehicles located at the residence were all forfeited to the Commonwealth. Dalton stated that he expected the property to be auctioned in January 2007. Dalton indicated that Ford Brother's Auction and Realty is handling the auction for the Commonwealth.
Montgomery noted that all proceeds of the auction will be used to provide equipment and training for law enforcement personnel. Montgomery thanked UNITE Prosecutor Dalton for this handling of the case and forfeiture proceedings as well as noted the outstanding investigation by Sheriff Todd Wood and his deputies.
In other matters:
* Lynthia C. Dowdy, 46, of Somerset was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for 2 counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
According to UNITE Prosecutor Dalton, in February and August 2006 undercover agents with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office purchased morphine and oxycodone from Dowdy as part of a several month investigation by the department. At the conclusion of the investigation, Dowdy was indicted by in September 2006 by the Pulaski County Grand Jury.
Dowdy pled guilty in November. Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette sentenced Dowdy to the recommended five-year sentence and ordered her into the custody of the Department of Corrections to begin service of her sentence.
* Jason Smail, 28, of Somerset pled guilty to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. According to UNITE Prosecutor Dalton, in May 2006 undercover operatives purchased approximately one-half gram of methamphetamine from Smail for $150 at a residence on Jarvis Avenue in Somerset.
On Thursday, December 21, Smail pled guilty before Judge Burdette. Burdette ordered that Smail remain in custody and set final sentencing for January 18, 2007.
* Jason Bullock, 24, of Brodhead, pled guilty to manufacture of methamphetamine at a hearing before Pulaski Circuit Judge David Tapp on Wednesday, December 20.
According to UNITE Prosecutor Dalton, the Somerset Police Department arrested Bullock on November 29, 2005, while in possession of several items and chemicals utilized to manufacture methamphetamine -- Pseudoephedrine (cold pills), ethanol (liquid Heet), ether (Coleman fuel) and phosphorous (matches). The police also discovered tubing and filters common to the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Dalton noted this offense was prosecuted under the methamphetamine changes enacted in Senate Bill 63, UNITE-supported legislation amending several sections of the controlled substances act.
On December 20, Bullock indicated in open court that he had those items to manufacture methamphetamine. Judge Tapp then accepted his plea of guilty.
Dalton stated that he would recommend 10 years imprisonment for the manufacturing charge. Tapp set final sentencing for January 25, 2007.
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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 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)