Former sheriff named in federal drug affidavit

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Federal agents pick up five people in Whitley County on drug charges, and one suspect is still on the run. The affidavit says former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge was in on the drug dealing.

Now as Lawrence Hodge faces state corruption charges, a federal affidavit shows those charges could be the least of his worries.

The federal affidavit points to an alleged drug ring at a home on Ted Ball Road in Whitley County.

Federal agents have arrested five so far. Named in the complaint but not arrested is former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge.

The complaint states that in January of this year, "Hodge informed the confidential informant that he had some Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets for sale."

In February, Jason Kersey, whom the Feds arrested, "Spoke with the confidential informant about the irony of seeing Hodge at the 'dope' house."

In March, a federal agent interviewed James Meradith from jail, who told him that he used to make runs to obtain pills for Hodge.

Meradith went on to say that "In December 2010, before Hodge left office, Hodge brought two black duty shotguns with him. Meradith said Hodge traded him one of the shotguns in exchange for three Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets."

The Whitley County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary in 2009 and at that time said weapons were missing from evidence.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office would not confirm or deny whether Hodge would face federal charges. But they said the affidavit is public record.

We tried calling Lawrence Hodge Wednesday, but our messages were not returned.

Agents arrested Doyle Fritts, Charles Fritts, Nikita Evans, James Meradith, and Jason Kersey on federal drug charges. Jerry Fritts is still on the run.


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