PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - He was hired to protect people but a Pike County Sheriff's Deputy and dispatcher is behind bars.
An undercover purchase of Oxycodone by Operation UNITE officials in the Marrowbone community on Wednesday, led to the arrest of a sheriff's deputy on Thursday.
Officials say an undercover officer working with a confidential witness made the purchase from Bradley Childers...Childers was with off-duty sheriff's deputy Matthew Blanton.
Operation UNITE Director of Law Enforcement Paul Hays says, "For some reason at that time, Brad Childers, became suspicious and used resources through their law enforcement entity to obtain information that led him to identify our undercover officer."
UNITE officials say threatening phone calls were then made to their witness.
"We take these investigations very seriously, especially if puts our officers or witnesses in undue jeopardy," says Hays.
On Thursday, Childers was arrested and gave officials information that led to the arrest of Blanton.
Hays says, "We do not overlook the fact if one of our own is involved in illegal activity and we take the appropriate action. We are pleased about that part, but it is unfortunate an officer would do something like trafficking a controlled substance. That's very bad blemish on all law enforcement."
Both Childers and Blanton face first degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
Blanton has been relieved of all duties as a sheriff's deputy.
The sheriff's office referred all questions to UNITE officials who say the office cooperated fully with the investigation.
"Obviously the officer involved in this drug activity is going to have to deal with this but the sheriff's office worked closely with us and made sure the investigation was not hindered by their office, and we thank them for that," explains Hays.
The Pikeville Police Department and Kentucky State Police assisted in the investigation.