TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

February 14, 2013

Others arrested in drug roundup


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

Three more suspects sought during last week’s drug raid are now off the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department’s radar screen.

Wendy Day, 33, of Williamsburg, was charged with theft by unlawful taking. Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said she turned herself in. According to Harrell, Day allegedly took money given to her to trade for illegal drugs, then never returned with the cash or the drugs.

Also turning himself in was 43-year-old Robert Wilbe Leach, of Gray. He faces his first offense of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. He was jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center under a $7,500 cash bond.

The third suspect jailed Wednesday on drug charges is David Carroll Vanderpool, 52, of Williamsburg. He faces his first offense of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. He remains jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center under a $7,500 bond.

Sheriff Harrell said all the arrests related to the latest county drug roundup culminated after several months of intense investigation. “Some of these we’ve had for six — maybe eight months,” he said.

Each suspect arrested has audio and/or visual recordings of the suspected drug transactions, according to Harrell. That evidence will be given to the suspects through their attorneys, and that includes how they were caught allegedly dealing illegal drugs.

“We also work with informants,” Harrell said. “When there’s no more for (the informant) to buy — we close them (the suspected dealer) up.”

Whitley County Detective Sgt. Tim Baker, who leads the effort to combat illegal drugs in the county, said this effort will continue.

“Our goal is to ultimately protect the citizens of Whitley County,” Baker said. “Drugs destroy lives in a slow, agonizing way — the WCSD wants to break that cycle.”

Harrell agreed, vowing more arrests will come. “I promise you there will be plenty more,” he said.

The WCSD seeks other individuals related to the latest roundup. Harrell said he hopes the remaining wanted persons will turn themselves in to face their drug charges.

Suspects being sought by sheriff’s office and their charges are:

— Tonya Estep, of Flat Lick, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Kentucky State Police were enlisted Thursday to help seek this suspect in Knox County.

— Matthew Johnson, 38, of Flat Lick, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Kentucky State Police troopers were enlisted Thursday to help seek this suspect in Knox County.

— Martin Price, 42, of Heidrick, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.