A ten month undercover drug investigation leads to dozens of arrests in Johnson County.
Operation UNITE, Kentucky State Police, the Sheriff's Department, and Paintsville Police had warrants for 28 alleged drug dealers.
Friday morning, police arrested the alleged drug dealers during a round-up.
"Walk outside, the sheriff and deputies were out there and brought me to jail" said Larry Williams. He was one of the 28 people accused of selling pills in Johnson County.
"Innocent until proven guilty," Williams said when Reporter Angela Sparkman asked him if he illegally sold pills.
Undercover officers say they have proof on tape that all 28 suspects illegally sold prescription pills.
"All of them are audio and video. There's no question," said Sheriff Dwayne Price.
Sheriff Price says the joint investigation between UNITE, KSP, and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department started in January.
"This office as well as the other agencies are sick of this drug trafficking. We ran across people through this investigation that are on state assistance that had several thousand dollars in the house with them. We're tired of it, and I'm sure the general public is too," said Sheriff Price.
"We need to get these people in custody in order to stop these illegal drug sales from happening in our communities," said Keith Napier, Operation UNITE Big Sandy Task Force Manager.
The 28 are all facing drug trafficking charges. Investigators say most of the people charged sold oxycodone or hydrocodone.
Three suspects arrested in West Van Lear at the South Burglar Road residence, 56-year-old Robert Page, his 48-year-old wife Billie Page, and their 29-year-old son Robbie Page, could be facing more charges.
During the search police discovered approximately 100 pills of various sorts and $18,800 in cash. A 1994 Harley-Davidson motorcycle believed to have been purchased from the proceeds of drug sales was seized.
The Sheriff says tips from the community led investigators to find all of the suspected dealers. The Sheriff asks if you have any information concerning illegal activity in your neighborhood you are encouraged to contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 789-3411 or email Sheriff Price at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will remain confidential.
List of 17 people arrested on Friday:
Robert Page, age 56, charged with two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Billie Page, age 48, charged with two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Robbie Page, 29, charged with one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Mile Eldridge, age 38, of Pine Street, Paintsville, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Michael Green, 24, of 6th Street, Paintsville, one count each first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Melissa Rife, age 44, of KY 40, Oil Springs, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
James Smith, age 45, of KY 40-West, one count each of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Ollie Whitt, age 27, of KY 40, Oil Springs, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Larry Williams, age 44, of KY 302, Van Lear, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.
Rosa Sexton, no age available
Josh Haney, no age available
Jenny McKenzie, no age available
Jessica Obrian, no age available
Kristian Mollett, no age available
Alicha Meek, no age available
Virginia Thompson, no age available
Samantha Baldridge, no age available
Officers are still searching for 11 other suspects.