20 Arrests Within 1 Week Due To One Southern Kentucky Sheriff's "War on Drugs"

Twenty 7 14 20 LSO

LONDON, KY (July 14, 2020) - Laurel County Sheriff John Root Along with Sheriff's detectives, deputies, and our K-9 teams arrested 20 individuals this past week following the continuing "War on Drugs" that Sheriff Root pledged that his office would continually conduct.

While conducting unrelated drug investigations, answering complaints and at traffic stops investigators found subjects with meth, heroin, Xanax, hydrocodone, gabapentin, assorted pills, scales, hypodermic needles, glass pipes with white residue (suspected meth), cut straws with residue and other paraphernalia, and US currency.

Some subjects were also found with outstanding warrants and outstanding warrants for failure to appear on drug charges.

Those arrested were identified as:

1. Lee Merritt, Sr. Age 55 arrested off Hawk Creek Road charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Public intoxication – controlled substances

2. Justin Mullins age 27 of Old County Road, McKee, Ky. arrested on Hal Rogers Parkway in London charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense
  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – third-degree – first offense
  • Possession of a controlled substance – third-degree
  • Prescription controlled substances not in proper container – first offense
  • Resisting arrest

3. Destiny Hobbs age 19 of Mildred Road, McKee, Ky. arrested off Wendell Way in London charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine

4. Steven Wayne Helton age 35 of Hanes Baker Rd., Corbin arrested off West Cumberland Gap Pkwy. charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of a controlled substance – second-degree
  • Prescription controlled substances not in proper container – first offense
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

5. Kenny Blake Wagers, Jr age 21 of McWhorter Road, London arrested off McWhorter Road charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Heroin
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

6. Charles Nantz age 30 of Clancy Ln., Lily arrested off Clancy Lane charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Wanton endangerment – degree; three counts of possession of a controlled substance – third-degree
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

7. Ricky Lee Miracle age 33 of Cecil Wyatt Rd., Corbin arrested off West Cumberland Gap Pkwy. charged on a Whitley Circuit Court bench warrant of arrest charging court order violation regarding charges of:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

8. Kimberly Ann Hubbard age 33 of Blake Dr., London arrested off Miracle Lane in London charged with:

  • Public intoxication – controlled substances – stated had been using Meth
  • Disorderly conduct – second-degree
  • An outstanding Laurel District Court bench warrant charging failure to appear in court

9. Ashley R. Smith age 24 of Barr Creek Rd., Oneida, KY arrested off East Laurel Rd. charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of marijuana

10. Christopher Adam Cole age 32 of Runnels Branch Road, Littcarr, KY arrested on KY 490 charged with:

  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence – first offense
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia with Meth residue
  • Operating on suspended or revoked operator's license

11. Rebecca Caudill age 32 of Runnels Branch Road, Littcarr, KY arrested on KY 490 charged with:

  • Public intoxication – controlled substances
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia with Meth residue

12. Joseph Chad Curry age 45 of Curry Rd., London arrested off Curry Road charged with:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

13. James Marcum age 46 of East Laurel Rd., London arrested off East Laurel Rd. charged on:

  • A failure to appear warrant

14. Mary Melissa Roark age 36 of Fire House Rd., East Bernstadt charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – Methamphetamine

15. Landon Collins age 32 of Locust Grove Rd., London arrested off East 4th Street in London charged with:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

16. Irvin Johnson age 34 of Taylor Subdivision Rd., London arrested off Tobacco Road in London charged with:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Wanton endangerment – second-degree – police officer is victim

17. Angela Shepherd age 43 of Sally's Branch Rd., London arrested off Slate Lick Road charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – first-degree – second offense – Methamphetamine
  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – third-degree – second offense

18. Linda Jane Wallace age 50 of Van Hollow Road, McKee, KY arrested off Slate Lick Road charged with:

  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence – second offense
  • Driving on DUI suspended license – first offense
  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – first-degree – second offense – Methamphetamine
  • Trafficking in a controlled substance – third-degree – second offense
  • Prescription controlled substances not in proper container – first offense
  • Driving on DUI suspended license – first offense

19. Johnny Gregory age 51 of Highway 472, Manchester arrested off Slate Lick Rd. charged with:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

20. Marsha Denny age 41 of Sally's Branch Rd., London arrested off Slate Lick Rd. charged with:

  • Public intoxication – controlled substances
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

All arrested suspects were lodged in the Laurel County Correctional Center.

Photos of accused attached are courtesy of Laurel County Correctional Center. Also photos of contraband seized during investigations and arrests are attached to this press release.

Sheriff Root War on Drugs 600

When campaigning for Sheriff 10 years ago, Sheriff John Root promised the voters that he would wage war on drugs in Laurel County. He has kept that promise.

This past week’s drug and drug related arrests continues to show Sheriff John Root's level of commitment to continue this pledge. His office has the full cooperation of Laurel County Attorney Jodi Albright and Laurel Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele as the Laurel County Sheriff's Office and Laurel county's prosecutors work side-by-side to eradicate the drugs which destroy the future of this County.

Assisting for the Laurel Sheriff's Office were: Laurel Sheriff John Root, Maj. Chuck Johnson, Lieut. Chris Edwards, Capt. Robbie Grimes, Detective James Sizemore, Detective Bryon Lawson, Detective Taylor McDaniel, Deputy Brad Mink, Deputy Landry Collett, Deputy Justin Taylor, Deputy Tommy Houston, Deputy James Fox, Deputy Robert Reed, Deputy Daniel Reed, Deputy Kevin Berry, K-9 Deputy Gary Mehler and his K-9 “Edge”, K-9 Deputy Jake Miller and his K-9 “Gotcha”.


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