Study Shows Crime In Perry County Cut In Half Since Beginning Of Operation UNITE

By: Danielle Morgan Email
By: Danielle Morgan Email

Drug related crime has been cut by more than half since Operation UNITE has been in Perry County. That comes from a new study from the agency. They were busy again Friday in Hazard rounding up more suspected drug dealers and educating the public at a drug forum.

Six arrests were made within 20 minutes. Out of 15 people they have arrest warrants for, nine of them lived on Laurel Street in downtown Hazard.

"Its pretty rough," said Geraldine Tolson.

"Majority of these people are street level dealers," said Mike Luttrell, UNITE Ky. River Manager.

"I just don't understand why they come and got us. I just don't understand that. They left the ones who really got the drugs out there running, but they got the poor people," said Burt Stacy, who was one of those arrested Friday.

Regardless of how small the deals may be, Operation UNITE, the Perry County Sheriff's Department, and the Hazard Police say they get constant complaints and tips on drug activity in the area. That's why Chief Ronnie Bryant calls them primary dealers.

"They are selling enough for them to overdose. They're selling enough for them to have to go out and steal something to buy from these primary dealers, so it is a huge problem," Bryant said.

"We have one theft charge that's related to drugs," Luttrell said.

New statistics show it's a huge problem that UNITE is turning around. Take a look at these numbers. In Perry County, robberies have dropped 57 percent, assaults are down 156 percent, and in six years, thefts dropped from nearly 700 cases to less than 300 last year.

Karen Engle says community involvement is the driving force in fighting the drug epidemic and it's at drug forums like this one in Hazard where people can learn more about it.

Those arrested and lodged in the Perry County Detention Center were:

* Glenna K. Baker, age 51, Hardburly Road, Bulan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree possession of a controlled substance.

* Johnny Baker, age 45, Laurel Street, Hazard, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

* Marissa Fugate, age 29, Laurel Street, Hazard, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Carolyn Runyon, age 38, Main Street, Hazard, theft by unlawful taking items valued under $300.

* Mildred Slone, age 65, Laurel Street, Hazard, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Bert Stacy, age 42, Laurel Street, Hazard, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

* Doyle Standifer, age 19, Laurel Street, Hazard, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

* Gerald Tolson, age 59, Laurel Street, Hazard, two counts trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

* Clifton Williams, age 33, Laurel Street, Hazard, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.


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