, Corbin, KY

January 11, 2012

New federal charge for drug dealer

Man associated with Hodge accused of testimony impeding

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Jan. 11, 2012.pdf

By Becky Killian / Managing Editor

An accused Whitley County drug dealer associated in a federal affidavit with former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge now faces a new federal charge for trying to impede testimony, according to a superseding indictment filed in London’s U.S. District Court.

Doyle “Stan-Boy” Fritts is accused of conspiring “to knowingly corruptly persuade another with the intent to influence, delay, and prevent their testimony in an official proceeding,” according to the indictment, which was filed Thursday.

Doyle Fritts also faces three charges of distributing oxycodone and one charge related to being a convicted felon in possession of a Chinese firearm.

Jerry Lee Fritts is also named in the indictments but the charges against him remain unchanged from a Sept. 8 indictment. Court documents state he faces two charges of distributing oxycodone.

The two men were set to go on trial Monday, Jan. 9, but that trial date has now been changed to Feb. 21. They are set to be arraigned at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in London.

Doyle Fritts and Jerry Lee Fritts were among six people arrested and charged federally in connection with a drug operation on Ted Ball Road in Whitley County. Two of the others who were arrested — Nikita N. Evans and Jason A. Kersey — were sentenced Thursday.

Evans pleaded guilty in September to aiding and abetting in the distribution of hydrocodone as well as to a criminal forfeiture allegation as part of a plea agreement that called for the dismissal of another charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. She was sentenced to time served of five months and 24 days with three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

Kersey also pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to a charge of distributing hydrocodone. He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

To other men, James Meradith and Charles F. Fritts Jr., have also pleaded guilty as part of plea agreements.

On Dec. 8, Meradith pleaded guilty to one count of distributing oxycodone. The plea agreement calls for the dismissal of other charges against him. He is set to be sentenced April 12.

Charles F. Fritts Jr. pleaded guilty on Oct. 12 to distributing oxycodone and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The plea agreement calls for the dismissal  of other charges against him and he is set to be sentenced Feb. 16.

A federal affidavit filed in March indicated Hodge frequented the Ted Ball Road home of Charles Fritts Jr., a known “dope house” where Hodge reportedly sold and bought drugs and where Kersey and Charles Fritts Jr. helped Hodge dispose of guns reported missing from the sheriff’s office in a  2009 burglary that was later determined to have been staged by Hodge.