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Lee County drug roundup marks 4,000th UNITE arrest

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Operation UNITE made its 4,000th drug-related arrest during a roundup of suspected dealers in Lee County on Friday, February 22.

“This is a significant milestone for UNITE’s Law Enforcement Drug Task Force,” said Paul Hays, UNITE law enforcement director.

Law enforcement officers had arrested 17 of 25 individuals sought in the sweep and seized a small quantity of marijuana by mid-afternoon.

UNITE detectives have been investigating reports of street-level to mid-level dealers operating in Lee County since early 2012.

During the investigation officers were able to purchase a variety of drugs from heroin and methamphetamine to Percocet and Lortabs.

“We received a tremendous amount of assistance from Lee County Sheriff Wendell Childers throughout the investigation,” said Keith Napier, Big Sandy Task Force manager for UNITE. “The Beattyville Police Department also assisted in gathering information and making cases.”

UNITE detectives were assisted by Lee County deputies, Beattyville Police officers, Kentucky State Police troopers and the Lee County Constable in serving arrest warrants on Friday.

The UNITE Drug Task Force began conducting roundups on April 6, 2004, the culmination of investigations within the eight-county Kentucky River region. At the time it was the largest drug sweep in Kentucky history, targeting 210 individuals.

On July 27, 2005, Operation UNITE became only the second law enforcement drug task force in the state to become accredited by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, reflecting that they met or exceeded 157 professionally accepted standards of law enforcement. The Task Force was reaccredited for another five years in 2010.

“While UNITE believes that making arrests is an important component to the overall effort at stopping substance abuse, it is important to remember that education and treatment are equally critical,” Hays said. “We encourage anyone wanting to get help for an addiction to contact our toll-free Treatment Help Line at 1-866-908-6483.”

Those arrested as of 3 p.m. Friday and lodged in the Three Forks Regional Jail were:

• Deborah “Debbie” Creech Bowman, 53, Lucas Hollow Road, Beattyville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Amber N. Brandenburg, 26, Beattyville, theft by unlawful taking under $500.

• Lelia Caldwell, 25, Old Fincastle Road, Booneville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Mary Conley, 34, Highway 399, Booneville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billie Sue Combs, 44, KY 1938, Booneville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance

• Heather Mays Foister, 34, Mays Subdivision Road, Beattyville, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Jamie Law, 26, Main Street, Beattyville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jared Mays, 23, Manor Drive, Beattyville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Michael Mays, 31, Manor Drive, Beattyville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Amanda McIntosh, 27, New Yellow Rock Road, Beattyville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Gentry McIntosh, 56, Highway 399, Beattyville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (second offense) and persistent felony offender.

• Doug Phillips, 62, Highway 52 West, Beattyville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ashley Shuler, 27, Highway 52 West, Beattyville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jeremiah Shuler, 26, Old Hopewell Road, Beattyville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jordan Shuler, 26, Old Hopewell Road, Beattyville, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Crystal Slone, 28, Beattyville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Alfred Thompson. 47, Shoemaker Ridge Road, Beattyville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Police were still actively seeking to make additional arrests.


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