Sheriff's deputy returns to work after meth explosion injury

GREENUP, Ky. (WYMT/WSAZ) - Sheriff Keith Cooper is trying to hire new deputies to boost the law enforcement presence in Greenup County.

"Right now, I'm down three men," Cooper said. "That's 30 percent of the force that's on the road every day."

Two deputies were hurt during traffic stops earlier this year. They both face long-term rehab, and on Saturday two deputies were injured during a meth bust in the 2900 block of Culp Creek Road.

"That call was totally unexpected," Deputy Rick Craft said.

Craft returned to work Tuesday afternoon after being treated and released from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

"I grabbed Deputy Cody Fuller by the arms and drug him outside to the porch. His lips were blue and he was foaming at the mouth," Craft said.

Fuller was in the process of arresting Hubert Dehart, 42, and his wife, Pamela, after finding a working meth lab inside the home. The deputies say they heard Dehart flushing liquid down the drain. When Fuller approached the sink in the bathroom, a vaporous plume came out of the drain and made him sick.

"The problem is, when it flares up, it's not really an explosion like blowing windows out," Cooper said. "These fumes use such deadly, caustic chemicals that jut one breath of it can kill you."

Fuller is expected to be recovering for the next few weeks while on medical leave.

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