A multiple meth lab operation was shut down following a police raid
on a residence in eastern Laurel County Thursday, January 11.
Two people were charged by Operation UNITE in connection with the lab's operation, while at least three other people were arrested by the Laurel County Sheriff's Office after they arrived at the scene.
"Operation UNITE and the Laurel County Sheriff's Office have been
investigating these suspects since early last year," said Joel Cunigan,
manager of UNITE's Cumberland Drug Task Force. "This is not the first time a lab has been found on this property."
Following an investigation into dozens of complaints, law enforcement
officers from UNITE, the sheriff's office and London Police Department
obtained a search warrant for the property, located on New Salem Road off KY 472 in the Langnau community near the Clay County line.
At about 5:30 p.m. a team of approximately 15 officers raided the secluded residence belonging to Rocky Brummett. In addition there were two camper trailers and a junk mobile home being used for storage that were also searched, Cunigan said.
When officers first arrived nobody was inside the home, although Brummett and at least two other people are believed to have fled on four-wheelers.
One of those individuals, 31 year old Christopher Buttrey of Delmas Gilliam Road, London, was found hiding a short time later. Cunigan said Buttrey was riding a stolen ATV at the time of his arrest on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Brummett and the other unidentified man were still being sought Friday
Inside the residence police found two meth labs, and a third lab was
discovered outside the home.
"There was a lot of hazardous materials found in and around the property," Cunigan said, adding UNITE detectives were on the scene until 12:30 a.m. Friday cleaning up the meth labs.
While police were on the scene a number of individuals drove up to the
property including 37 year old Karrie Underwood of Spencer Road, East Bernstadt, who had been staying at the residence with her 4 year old daughter.
"This child was exposed to the chemicals and fumes associated with
manufacturing meth," Cunigan said. "She had placed this little girl in
Underwood was charged with one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of meth precursors, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and controlled substance endangerment of a child. The latter is a new law made possible by the Kentucky General Assembly's passage of Senate Bill 63 in 2005.
The Laurel County Sheriff's Office also charged Underwood on outstanding warrants.
Social service workers were notified about the situation and took custody of the child, police said.
At least three other people who came to the property were also arrested by the Sheriff's Office two for possession of marijuana and the third for driving on a suspended operator's license.
Laurel Sheriff Fred Yaden said his department seized several stolen
four-wheelers, expensive tools, heavy equipment, generators and other items believed to have been taken from Laurel and Whitley Counties.
The Sheriff's Office will be handling all cases involving the stolen
property, while UNITE is pursuing additional drug-related charges.
For more information about 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 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)