21 sought in Letcher roundup

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 | Comments Off on 21 sought in Letcher roundup

WHITESBURG – A lengthy investigation by Operation UNITE into illegal prescription drug sales in Letcher County has resulted in the indictment of 21 individuals on 35 felony cases.

Detectives, accompanied by deputies from the Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb’s Office, set out to arrest the suspected dealers in a roundup on Tuesday, March 15.

Police had located seven of the people as of 2 p.m. and were continuing their search “throughout all parts of the county,” said Dan Smoot, UNITE’s law enforcement director.

The undercover investigation leading up to the roundup began about one year ago and involved primarily Hydrocodone and Oxycodone pain medications.

“A large number of these cases are the result of citizen calls to UNITE’s toll-free drug tipline (1-866-424-4382),” Smoot said, noting there have been 706 calls received from Letcher County. “The importance of information from the public about suspicious activity cannot be underestimated.”

Arrested and lodged in the Letcher County Detention Center were:

• Wayne Back, age 45, of Linefork, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Billy Ray Fields, age 54, of Court Road, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. At the time of his arrest a quantity of hydrocodone was found and he will be charged with a second count of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Clarence Halcomb, age 55, of Galloway Acres, Partridge, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Billy Hubbs, age 50, of Highway 3073, Partridge, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Johnny Osborne, age 44, Highway 199 South, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• George Thomas, age 69, Circle Drive, Whitesburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Matthew Alan Whitaker, age 25, of Highway 119 South, Partridge, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

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