Three of Operation UNITE’s “most wanted” fugitives profiled during a special television broadcast have been arrested as a result of the program. In addition, tips received on the possible location of four other individuals are still being investigated.
As part of its “Kentucky’s Most Wanted” series, WKYT TV-27 in Lexington aired profiles of people wanted for drug-related offenses during its regular news broadcast on Monday, April 30. The show included 18 people wanted by UNITE.
In between the fugitive profiles the station ran stories from a family who lost a child to drugs, from a young man who was addicted and turned his life around to become a youth minister, and a segment with UNITE Law Enforcement Director Dan Smoot about the drug problems facing Eastern Kentucky.
News anchor Renee Charles, who hosted the program, will air a recap of the special on Monday, May 21, during the 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. newscast.
Those arrested in the past two weeks include:
• Johnny Campbell, age 49, of Quicksand in Breathitt County.
Campbell turned himself in at the Jackson Police Department on May 1 after learning he was profiled on the show. He was charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance second offense for selling OxyContin to an undercover UNITE detective on August 19, 2005, and with being a persistent felony offender first-degree. He was lodged in Three Forks Regional Jail.
• Lora Lee Wells, age 43, of Kodiak Road in Morehead.
Wells was arrested May 2 by UNITE detectives following up a tip that she was working as a mechanic at a Rowan County garage. Wells was charged with two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance for selling Hydrocodone tablets to an undercover detective between November 15-21, 2005. At the time she was living on Flemingsburg Road in Morehead. She was lodged in Rowan County Detention Center.
• David Eugene Wynn, age 56, of Leanover Drive in Louisville.
Wynn was arrested May 10 by Barbourville Police Officer Kenny Williamson after receiving a tip from a local pharmacist who recognized him from the show. Wynn was charged with four counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance for selling OxyContin to a confidential witness on three occasions and for having a quantity of OxyContin pills at his residence on Straight Creek Road in Pineville during a search during May 2006. He was lodged in the Whitley County Jail.
“We have been very pleased with the response from the public to the profiles,” said Dan Smoot, Law Enforcement Director for UNITE. “Obviously these are people who we have had difficulty locating. Many have moved out of our area; some even out of state. We appreciate the assistance WKYT has given to bring these people to justice.”
Anyone with information on any drug-related activity can contact the UNITE Tip Line anonymously by calling 1-866-424-4382.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org.