Jury Recommends Maximum Sentence For Drug Trafficking Conviction

A jury has recommended the maximum penalty for a Martin County woman after finding her guilty of drug trafficking.

Judy Jude Runyon, 35, of Inez, was found guilty of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance following a one-day trial in Martin Circuit Court on Tuesday, February 13.

Jury members have recommended Runyon receive the maximum sentence of five years in prison when she is formally sentenced in front of Circuit Judge John D. Preston on Thursday, March 15.

"It makes me proud that the people of Martin County are taking a stand against illegal drugs," said Commonwealth's Attorney Anna Melvin, who prosecuted the case. "We have lost entirely too many young people to this epidemic."

Melvin said this case sets precedence for future drug charges in the Martin County court system.

The case was the result of an approximately three-month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE.

Detectives purchased seven Lorcet pills from Runyon on September 21, 2004.

She was subsequently indicted and arrested.

Tuesday's trial rested solely upon the testimony of the investigating officers.

At the conclusion of the trial Judge Preston ordered Runyon's bond revoked and she was immediately taken into custody until her sentencing.

For more information about Operation 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)

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