Drug roundup seeks 18 in Pike

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 | Comments Off

PIKEVILLE – Law enforcement officials attempted to arrest 18 Pike County individuals suspected of drug trafficking during a roundup conducted by Operation UNITE Tuesday, January 3.

“This investigation centered on the Virgie and Regina communities but spread out across the county,” said Dan Smoot, deputy director of UNITE, adding the undercover operation lasted about 9 months.

“We bought a little bit of everything – from powder and crack cocaine to Suboxone and a variety prescription pills in between,” Smoot continued. “Pike County has a huge prescription drug problem, but cocaine is still a very desired drug.”

Assisting UNITE detectives with the arrests were troopers from Kentucky State Police Post 9 and agents from the London DEA field office.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday 10 of the 18 individuals had been arrested and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. They are:

• Bobby Bowling, 26, Bowling Fork Road, Elkhorn City, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• William Bowling, 57, Bowling Fork Road, Elkhorn City, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Kevin Hopkins, 46, Greasy Creek Road, Shelbiana, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

• Larry Kendrick, 34, Greasy Creek Road, Shelbiana, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

• Anthony John Puett, 27, Pikeville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

• James “Jamie” Rowe, 31, First Street, Lookout, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, and persistent felony offender.

• Garia Smith, 38, Virgie High Street, Virgie, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Richard Starghill, 34, Chloe Court, Pikeville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Steve Tackett, 39, Pikeville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Vornele Tackett, 66, Dry Branch Road, Virgie, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Police continue to search for the remaining eight suspects.

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