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Area ‘spring cleaning’ nets drug suspects

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Multi-county effort triggers 17 arrests

By The Staff

Area law enforcement had their own version of spring cleaning Friday morning, rounding up 17 of 26 individuals indicted recently by a Carroll County grand jury for drug trafficking.

Eleven individuals from Owen County were indicted on the drug charges; four were from Gallatin County; five were from Henry County; and one was from Frankfort.

Dubbed “Operation Spring Clean-up” by the Kentucky State Police, the arrests were an extension of investigations continuing after a similar bust on Nov. 13, in which 49 of 68 people indicted were arrested in a multi-agency dragnet.

As with the November bust, officers from sheriff’s departments in Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Owen and Boone counties joined forces with KSP and the Owenton Police Department.

“This round-up would have been impossible if the (Owen County) Sheriff’s Office, Owenton City Police and the Kentucky State Police hadn’t all worked together,” Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said.

Members of Owen County law enforcement gathered at 3:30 a.m. before meeting other officers at 5 a.m. at the National Guard Armory on State Hwy. 227 in Carrollton.

The 35 officers divided into seven teams before going out to make the arrests. Each team had information packets regarding the individuals they were to bring in.

Marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine were all found during the round-up. Hammond said prescription drugs were the most common  illegal substances among the arrests. Two drug dogs and handlers accompanied the officers, one from Owen County and one KSP drug dog.

A temporary booking station was set up at the armory and those arrested were photographed, fingerprinted and interrogated before being taken to the Carroll County jail.

CCDC employees Sgt. Janice Meadows, Capt. Darla Ray and Deputy Jesse Saggus handled processing and transporting of the individuals from the armory to the detention center on Clay Street.

KSP undercover detectives have been working for months with sheriff’s departments from the four-county area and other areas.  

“There are people we have purchased drugs from that have since moved out of the county,” Hubbuch said. “That does not stop us from going and finding them at their new locations. If we can’t find them at those locations, then we have a criminal analyst at Post (5 in Campbellsburg), and she can track down individuals using the most current information available.”

Local departments develop informants and KSP provides resources including money and manpower to actually buy the drugs from suspects and conduct investigations.

Hubbuch said local departments are better at developing sources because they have lived in the counties most of their lives, and people go to them with information. 

“We work hand in hand with these local departments to do these investigations,” Hubbuch said.

As in the 68 arrests made in November, individuals arrested this past Friday all face multiple charges and each is alleged to have sold drugs to undercover officers or informants more than once, Hubbuch said.

In all, those arrested face a total of 27 felony charges and 16 misdemeanor charges. 

Hubbuch said active drug investigations are ongoing. “If the opportunity presents itself, they (undercover officers) will be out buying drugs tonight,” he said.

“The round-up went smooth,” Hammond said. “We had no trouble and couldn’t have asked for it to go off any better. No officers or residents were hurt.”

Charges

Patricia Wilburn, 43, Carrollton, first-degree trafficking in controlled substance and two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Howard Taylor, 38 Carrollton, trafficking in marijuana less than eight ounces, two counts first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

James Burgin, 72, Carrollton, trafficking in a simulated substance, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

Tina Meece, 42, Carrollton, three counts first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, third-degree trafficking in controlled substance.

Carolyn Holliday, 69, Worthville, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree trafficking in controlled substance.

Jeffrey Roberts, 20, New Castle, trafficking in controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

Yvonne Dawson, 57, Pendleton, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Zackory Johnson, 19, Smithfield, trafficking in marijuana, less than eight ounces.

Duran Towles, 20, Pendleton, first-degree trafficking in controlled substance.

Olga Varela, 33, Florence, second-degree trafficking in controlled substance.

Billy Sturgeon, 41, Warsaw, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Ricky England, 51, Owenton, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Chris Walters, 30, Owenton, first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, additionally charged with: possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and prescription medication not in original container.

Teah Roland, 24, Frankfort, trafficking in marijuana, less than eight ounces.

Quentin Moore, 19, Owenton, two counts trafficking less than eight ounces.

Kirk Wilson, 20, Owenton, trafficking in marijuana less than eight ounces.

Gavin Lawrence, 21, New Liberty, third-degree trafficking in controlled substance.

Editor’s Note: Sharon Graves of the News-Democrat in Carrollton and Nicole Guest of the News-Herald contributed to this article.