LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - If you are going to visit a courthouse, it is probably not the best idea to bring illegal drugs with you, but Laurel County Sheriff's deputies say that is exactly what happened Monday.
When security guards had a man empty his pockets at the judicial center Monday morning, they discovered he was carrying a small amount of what appeared to be cocaine. People we talked with say they have no idea what he was thinking.
Deputies say 56-year-old Phillip Hutton of Rough Creek Road in London stopped by the Laurel County Judicial Center around 11 a.m. Monday. He was searched at the security checkpoint, and that is when officers found a small amount of what appeared to be cocaine in Hutton's pocket. Deputies say why anyone would bring drugs to a courthouse is anyone's guess.
"We have the metal detectors, and when you come to the courthouse, everything that's in your pocket is going to get emptied and checked," said Laurel County Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert Acciardo.
On a typical day, more than 600 people will walk through the doors of the Laurel County Judicial Center. Officials tell us most people have no problem following the rules but every now and then someone will try to bring in contraband material.
"Soon will be three years that we've been in the new facility," said Laurel County Circuit Court Clerk Roger Schott, "and I think the sheriff's office has made something ... 20 to 25 arrests ... people entering possessing drugs."
Deputies say drugs in government buildings will not be tolerated, and yet incidents like this keep happening.
"I really think that people think it's like the good old days whenever you could just walk in the courthouse and do your business," said Acciardo. "Unfortunately, we live in the real world today and very serious bad things happen at government buildings."
Which is why, deputies warn, if you bring drugs inside a courthouse, they will be found and you will go to jail.
Hutton is being held in the Laurel County Detention Center. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance. He declined our request for an interview.