"Operation Silent Sweep" nets 13 in Knox Co. - One subject became unresponsive after arrest & was airlifted to Baptist Health Care


Knox County, KY -  Sheriff Mike Smith is announcing “Operation Silent Sweep”, a continuation of "Operation Fall Harvest" when thirteen drug dealers were arrested on August 27, 2015.

As part of Sheriff Mike Smith’s continued crackdown on drugs in Knox County, on Wednesday, December 16, 2015,members of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Operation UNITE, carried out a county wide arrest of illegal drug traffickers.

These arrests, all felony drug trafficking arrests, are the result of a three month undercover investigation conducted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office with support from Operation UNITE.

Officers from the Barbourville City Police Department,Kentucky State Police and Constable Reed Murphy participated in the county wide arrests.

The following individuals were arrested and lodged in the Knox County Detention Center:

Clarence Valentine, age 74 of Hedrick, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree. At the time of his arrest, Clarence Valentine was in possession of handgun. He was also charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Delia Mills age 78 of Dewitt, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree.

Wendell Smith age 66 of Dewitt, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd degree.

Ronnie Warren age 70 Bimble, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree

James Donaldson age 49 of Barbourville, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree. James Donaldson was also arrested for Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree in the ‘Fall Harvest Round-up on August 27, 2015.

Amos Rice age 59 of Bimble, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree and Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 3rd Degree.

Dillard Brown age 56 of Boone Heights, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree

Jerry Merida, age 66 of Barbourville, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree. After being arrested without incident and placed in the cruiser, Jerry Merida became un-responsive. Deputies immediately stopped in a parking lot and began CPR. CPR was continued by Deputy Sidney Wagner and Barbourville City Police Officer Josh Lawson until an ambulance arrived. Jerry Merida was flown to Baptist Health Care in Corbin where he remains in critical condition.

Jeffery Brown age 43 of Dewitt, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree

Jason Wyatt age 34 of Gray, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree

Johnny Eads age 43 of Gray, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree

Mathew McCrystal age 34 of Gray, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree

James Roberts age 53 of Woodbine, KY charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Degree’.

Deputies will continue to search for additional suspects who could not be located at this time.

Information on some of the above arrestees were received on the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Drug Tip Hotline. The Drug Tip Hotline number is 606-595-8105

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