Lengthy Drug Dealing Investigation Results In Drug Bust

PIKEVILLE – A lengthy investigation by Operation UNITE into illegal drug dealing has resulted in arrest warrants for 36 Pike County citizens.

A Stopover man wanted on two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance faces additional charges after threatening officers with a knife. Arnold Wolford Jr., 41, of Willows Branch Road, was charged by the Kentucky State Police with menacing and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

In addition, during one of the arrests police discovered “a very large quantity” of cocaine, said Dan Smoot, UNITE’s director of law enforcement. An investigation continues and additional charges are possible.

Nearly 30 law enforcement officers gathered at the Pike County Fire Training Center early Tuesday, January 23, before heading out to serve the arrest warrants. This was the fifth roundup of suspected drug dealers in Pike County since December 2004.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday police had arrested 16 people and lodged them in the Pike County Detention Center.

Most of the 72 criminal charges resulted from an 18-month investigation into the trafficking of cocaine and prescription pain medications, although several cases involved the sale of marijuana, said Paul Hays, deputy law enforcement director for UNITE.

UNITE detectives were assisted Tuesday by officers from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, Pikeville Police Department, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement and Kentucky State Police. Also providing help was the Kentucky Probation and Parole office.

Members of the UNITE Pike Coalition were present during the roundup to offer assistance to those arrested or their families.

During a mid-morning press conference, UNITE Executive Director Karen Engle, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, Pike County Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee, KSP Post 9 Public Affairs Officer Scott Hopkins, and Smoot each emphasized the importance of working together on all fronts to combat substance abuse throughout the county.

Engle emphasized that reaching out to children in need was one of the critical elements in changing attitudes and the culture of acceptance.

‘Knock and Talks’

On Monday, January 15, law enforcement officers spent the day in Pike County following up on tips that had been called in to the drug tip line by citizens, Hays said. “We want the public to know we value the information we receive and will make every effort to check out each call.”

Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. UNITE detectives, assisted by officers from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, Pikeville Police Department and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, visited 34 locations in and around Pikeville and the Shelbiana, Robinson Creek and Millard communities.

A total of 82 complaints received on these 34 locations were investigated during the seven-hour operation, commonly referred to as “knock and talks.”

Police conducted consent searches at nearly half the places visited, with drugs discovered at two locations.

Zan Trivett was cited to court after officers located approximately 1 gram of marijuana at an Island Creek residence.

At a residence in Millard police discovered 209 Hydrocodone pills and 22 Xanax pills. That case is still under investigation and charges are pending,

Those arrested as of early Tuesday afternoon were:

• Dena P. Adkins, age 43, Fife Fork Road, Pikeville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• David Lendall Akers, age 29, Road Fork, Pikeville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ronnie Lee Bartley, age 50, Powell’s Creek, Pikeville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces.

• Fred Charles Jr., age 40, Greasy Creek, Shelbiana, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Milford Junior Hall, age 50, East Shelbiana Road, Shelbiana, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ray David Hamilton, age 52, Red Creek, Pikeville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• James E. Holstein, age 55, Bridgett Street, Pikeville, three counts trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces and three counts trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

• Jonathan Ellis Holstein, age 29, Rocky Road, Pikeville, three counts trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces and three counts trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

• Buffy Nicole Kender, age 34, Kender Road, Mouthcard, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Hodge Allen McClanahan, age 25, Beach Creek, Jamboree, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Robbie Newsome, age 24, Lick Branch, Virgie, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Larry Heath Phillips, age 33, Hens Roost, Steele, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• William R. Sullivan, age 45, Little Hackney Creek, Feds Creek, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in a simulated controlled substance.

• JoAnn Trump, age 40, Greasy Creek, Pikeville, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Arnold Wolford Jr., age 41, Willows Branch, Stopover, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, menacing and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

• Charles Worrix Jr., age 35, Right Fork Island Creek, Pikeville, trafficking in a simulated controlled substance.

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


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