, Corbin, KY

January 17, 2012

Man arrested on federal parole violation

Had been mentioned in affidavit connected with former Sheriff Hodge

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Jan. 17, 2012.pdf

By Becky Killian / Managing Editor

A Williamsburg man connected to former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge in a federal affidavit has been arrested on a federal parole violation, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

Jerry Lee Bunch, 59, of Browns Creek Road, was arrested Thursday by Detective Jason Back and the U.S. Marshal Service in London.

Bunch, who was arrested in November 2010, had faced a 10-count indictment charging him with selling drugs. He pleaded guilty in March to one of those counts as part of plea agreement that called for the dismissal of the other nine counts. In July, he was sentenced to time served of about two months and three years of supervised release.

After his arrest Thursday, Bunch was jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.  

Bunch was mentioned in a federal affidavit released in March by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to the affidavit, Ronnie Wayne Reynolds, a former attorney, said he was contacted by former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge following the April 2007 arrest of Larry Gene “Ike” Lay, of Newcomb, Tenn.

Lay was arrested after a Whitley County sheriff’s deputy found $31,000 cash and pain pills in his 2005 Ford Mustang.

According to the affidavit, Reynolds said Hodge showed up at his home one day with an aerosol can found in Lay’s vehicle. The can had a false bottom and contained cocaine and various pills. Reynolds claims Hodge told him Bunch would sell the pills for Hodge, the affidavit notes.

In July, Reynolds was sentenced two years and three months in federal prison. He was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion since investigators said he was paid by Hodge for his part in seeing to it that sentences against criminal defendants were shortened or the charges eliminated.

In May, Hodge pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering, extortion and drug distribution. On Sept. 28 in London’s U.S. District Court, Hodge was sentenced to 15 and a half years for those federal charges.