LONDON – Five people were arrested on drug-related charges following a multi-agency effort to crackdown on the purchase of a drug used to manufacture methamphetamine. At least one other individual was charged after they were found to have outstanding warrants.

In addition, a portion of the southbound entry ramp to I-75 at KY 192 was shut down for about an hour as police cleaned up components of a meth lab discovered in the trunk of a car.

More than 30 law enforcement officers from agencies serving the Laurel County area participated in the special detail Tuesday, April 12, designed to identify individuals buying medications containing pseudoephedrine from area pharmacies for non-medical purposes.

“This was actually a slow day,” noted London Police Chief Stewart Walker, noting the cold rain throughout most of the morning and early afternoon may have been a contributing factor. “We conduct smaller-scale investigations like this on a regular basis.”

“Usually we have so many people coming to purchase pseudoephedrine we can’t keep up with them all,” agreed Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for Operation UNITE. “This is an epidemic problem that continues to get worse.”

Laurel County currently leads the state in the number of meth lab response incidents with 55 through April 7, 2011. Last year the county was second in Kentucky (behind only Jefferson County) with 113 incidents.

Statewide, meth lab response incidents continue to rise dramatically. During the first quarter of 2011 there have been 379 responses to meth labs – 125 more than for the same period last year – setting the pace to easily surpass last year’s record total of 1080 labs.

Participating in Tuesday’s detail were officers from the London Police Department, Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police Posts 10 and 11, KSP’s Drug Enforcement Special Investigations Branch, and Operation UNITE.

“We’re all on the same team,” commented KSP Lt. Curtis O’Bannon.

Charged as a result of the investigation and lodged at the Laurel County Detention Center were:

• Robert Corbin, 37, of Highway 779, Rockholds, manufacturing methamphetamine, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, and a warrant for failure to pay fines.

• Frank Dunlap, 22, of Saw Mill Hollow Road, Williamsburg, manufacturing methamphetamine, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, disregarding a traffic control device, and criminal littering.

• Joyce Holland, 34, of Old State Road, London, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (pills) and possession of marijuana.

• Misty Nantz, 31, of East Laurel Road, London, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Additional charge are pending.

• Kimberly Roberts, 44, of Village Wood Court, London, two warrants for failure to pay fines.

• Brittany D. Smith, 27, of Poplar Lane, Manchester, driving under the influence, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), possession of a controlled substance not in proper container, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to wear seatbelt.