MANCHESTER – Two former Manchester City Police officers were among those arrested on drug trafficking charges during a roundup conducted Tuesday, October 25.
By early afternoon 10 of the 15 suspects were in custody.
The arrests followed a six-month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE and the Manchester Police Department.
Most of the suspects were wanted for illegally diverting prescription medications – primarily Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Xanax – and lived within a centralized area of Manchester near the Clay County Courthouse.
“They were mostly from the same small community along Bridge Street, River Street and Baker Street,” said Police Chief Chris Fultz, adding a majority of the others lived within or near the city limits.
Law enforcement officers from UNITE, the Manchester Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police and U.S. Marshal Service began searching for suspects shortly after 8 a.m.
“Units came down Baker and Bridge streets to River Street,” Fultz said. “We went door-to-door checking every apartment and looking for these suspects and others for whom we had warrants.”
In addition to the drug-related cases, officers arrested six individuals on other warrants.
Among those arrested were former city police Officer Randall Dodson, 47, of Manchester Heights, and former Sgt. Scotty D. Sandlin, 37, of Wayne Street. Both Manchester men were charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
“They were friends of mine,” Fultz said. “It’s sad how life has turned for them.”
“If you’re willing to deal drugs we’re not putting up with it,” Fultz continued. “Your social status doesn’t matter. If you’re willing to deal drugs we’re coming after you.”
Others arrested Tuesday were:
• Randall “Randy” Burns, 46, of River Street, Manchester, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Kenneth Fields, 48, of River Street, Manchester, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Sherry Hall, 42, of Baker Street, Manchester, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Shannon McQueen, 29, Highway 687, Manchester, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Brenda Smith, 36, of T Street, Manchester, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Terry Smith, 34, of Mill Pond, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Jerry Travillion, 44, of Caudill Gap, Manchester, trafficking in marijuana.
• Eric Walker, 24, of Pennington Hill, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
“Hopefully this investigation will send a message to Manchester that illegal drug activity will be aggressively investigated,” said Paul Hays, deputy law enforcement director for UNITE.
“We intend to take back our community from the drug dealers,” Hays continued. “We need community leaders and citizens to stand with us.”
Chief Fultz praised the teamwork that went into both the investigation and roundup. “It shows what cooperation between agencies can accomplish.”
Police are continuing to search for the remaining five suspects.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org