PIKEVILLE – An interstate drug pipeline responsible for bringing tens of thousands of prescription pills into Pike County was broken up with the arrest of three people Friday, November 4.
“We delivered a major hit with these arrests,” said Dan Smoot, deputy director of Operation UNITE. “This network was responsible for distributing more than 50,000 Oxycodone pills within Pike County during the past 12 months. It was definitely a multi-million dollar operation.”
Arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone were:
• Donnie “DK” Kinder, 79, South River Road, Mouthcard.
• Brenda Jo Branham, 50, Weiner Drive, Albion, Michigan.
• Janice Carol Branham, 54, Green Street, Springport, Michigan.
UNITE began its investigation in early October after receiving reports that Kinder was trafficking in a large quantity of pills.
“Numerous undercover purchases of pills were made at Kinder’s residence over several weeks,” Smoot said.
As a result of these buys police obtained a search warrant that was served on October 31. At the time officers seized approximately 80 Methadone pills and $19,650 in cash.
Continued investigation resulted in detectives learning that two Michigan women were responsible for bringing the prescription medications into Pike County.
On Friday, four UNITE detectives and six agents from the DEA’s London Field Office met the two women in the Mouthcard area.
More than 2,000 pills – mostly Oxycodone along with quantities of Methadone and Xanax – were seized.
“These deliveries were being made on an almost weekly basis,” Smoot said, adding these pills were “for distribution through a variety of local dealers, including Kinder.”
All three suspects were lodged in the Pike County Detention Center pending judicial proceedings in U.S. District Court.
The case has been turned over to the DEA for prosecution.