Harlan drug roundup targets 51

Posted on Oct 4, 2013 | Comments Off

HARLAN – Arrest warrants for 51 Harlan County residents have been issued following a nine-month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE into drug trafficking within the area.

Law enforcement officers from UNITE, the Kentucky State Police, Harlan Police Department, Lynch Police Department, Loyall Police Department and Benham Police Department set out Friday, October 4, to locate these suspects.

“Since 2004, Operation UNITE has conducted more than a dozen round-ups of suspected drug traffickers within Harlan County,” said Paul Hays, law enforcement director for UNITE. “Many of these individuals are habitual offenders who don’t seem to get the message that illegal drug activity will not be tolerated here.”

“There is a terrible problem with prescription pills in this area,” Hays said, adding a majority of the purchases made during the investigation were of the narcotic painkiller Oxycodone.

Following their arrest, suspects were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.

As of 1 p.m. police had arrested 29 individuals. They are:

• Ricky Bingham, 32, Baxter, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Todd Reese Blair, 49, Cumberland, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billy Boggs, 38, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Patricia Cody, 39, Highway 72, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Rick Cody, 52, Highway 72, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Mark Cox, 50, Tremont, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Michael Earls, 29, Cawood, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

• Steven Edwards, 40, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Chester Engle, 44, Cawood, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Samuel Gaines, 47, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eddie Grubbs, 53, Cawood, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Peggy Hatfield, 61, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Lee R. Helton, 67, Loyall, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Teresa Howard, 46, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eric Huff, 27, Cumberland, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billy J. Johnson, 44, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Catise Latham, 28, Baxter, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Twilla Latham, 43, Baxter, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Donald Lay, 43, Loyall, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Heather Middleton, 37, Cawood, two counts trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Walter Middleton, 43, Coalgood, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Tammy Mills, 51, Dayhoit, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Wendy Osborne, 25, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Franklin Parker, 34, Pathfork, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Thomas Polson, 37, Clutz, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eddie Reese, 25, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Bill Robbins, 57, Cawood, four counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Bethel Stewart, 50, Cawood, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• William Whitehead, 30, Cumberland, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

Law enforcement officials were continuing to search for the remaining suspects.

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