MOREHEAD – Rowan County sheriff’s deputies have arrested 11 suspected drug dealers in the opening phase of what Sheriff Jack Carter is calling “Operation Rowan Roundup.”
“These are the first of many individuals we expect to round up over the next several weeks as we serve even stronger notice that illegal drugs and those who sell them are not welcome in Rowan County,” Carter said.
The sheriff added that a special Grand Jury had returned “dozens” of sealed indictments and that his deputies, led by Chief Deputy Joe Cline, would be “as aggressive as necessary” in finding and arresting drug dealers at all levels.
The first three arrests came Thursday, October 7, when Lance Carter, 46, and his mother, Oma Dean Carter, 69, and Daniel Cox, 32, of Clearfield, were taken into custody at a residence in Morehead.
As a result of a search of the residence, deputies seized quantities of marijuana and what is believed to be Oxycodone tablets, cocaine residue, Xanax tablets, and other items used to cut and package cocaine.
Deputies also recovered what was described as a “large” amount of firearms and ammunition.
Lance Carter was charged with nine counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Oma Dean Carter and Daniel Cox were each charged with one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Lance Carter, who is confined to a wheelchair, was later transported to the hospital ward of the Kentucky State Reformatory at LaGrange. He is being held under a $1 million bond.
Eight more persons were arrested Friday, October 8, and lodged in the Rowan County Detention Center. They included:
• Christopher R. Porter, 32, Brown Ridge Road, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Daniel R. Porter, 25, Brown Ridge Road, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Willie R. Dehart, 22, Dry Branch Road, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Evelena D. Carpenter, 52, Peach Tree Lane, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Richard A. Carpenter, 55, Peach Tree Lane, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender.
• Phillip G. Jent, 46, Cold Springs Hollow, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Randall Hamm, 40, Pleasant Valley Road, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
• Anita Wilson Cole, 41, Windsor Road, Morehead, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
“Our county-wide jurisdiction and some new resources have enabled my office to become the lead agency in the ongoing fight against illegal drugs,” the veteran sheriff said. “Too many Rowan County families have felt the heartache of illegal drugs. We intend to step up our enforcement efforts and to continue that pressure as long as necessary to reclaim our neighborhoods.”
Carter said his staff had been involved in an undercover investigation for five months and is grateful for the financial support of Operation UNITE, Judge-Executive Jim Nickell, Rowan County Fiscal Court, other agencies and individuals.
“We call on the good citizens of Rowan County to join us in this fight against the drug peddlers by using our website or telephone tip line to share information about suspected drug activity,” Carter said, noting the website is www.rowancountysheriff.net and the phone number is 784-3880.
Citizens may also contact the UNITE Tip Line at 1-866-424-4382.
“We’ve been working for five months to put this together while more persons of all ages are destroying their lives with drugs,” Carter said. “My staff and I learned last year that no one is immune from this epidemic,” referring to former chief deputy Roger Holbrook who is now in prison on federal drug charges. “We simply can’t wait any longer to get these criminals off the streets.”