By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
A dozen accused drug dealers were arrested early Wednesday morning in a multiple-agency operation in Whitley County.
Williamsburg Police, Kentucky State Police and the Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies left in teams about 5:30 a.m. to serve arrest warrants on 22 individuals.
Planning for the operation went back as far as eight months, according to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.
“It has been in the works for a while, some of the undercover drug buys date back six to eight months,” Harrell said, explaining that drug enforcement was a “tedious job.”
“It can be hard to compile a case against a drug dealer. It is very time consuming and often takes a lot of manpower,” Harrell said.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird agreed.
“It can be hard to get the drug dealers because they are very migratory and don’t often stay in one place for long,” Bird said.
During Wednesday’s roundup, the Williamsburg Police Department had 10 arrest warrants to execute, while the sheriff’s office had 12.
“We hope to get all 22 today and hopefully this will at least make a dent in the local drug problem,” Harrell said.
Both the sheriff and the police chief agreed there was a definite advantage in going after the drug dealers in early morning roundups such as the one that took place on Wednesday.
“The officers have a much higher percentage of locating people because they are usually in bed at this time,” Harrell said.
Of the 10 wanted by the police department, six were arrested, according to Bird:
*Eugene A. McKiddy, 54, of Williamsburg, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Michael Lee Anderson, 24, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Deborah Hembree, 39, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Travis S. Croley, 22, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Derek Hall, 37, of Williamsburg, trafficking marijuana.
*Jackie Logan, 48, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance and a prescription controlled substance not in its original container.
Of the 12 people sought by the sheriff’s department, six were arrested, according to Harrell:
*Anthony B. Conlin, 45, of Williamsburg, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Jamie McKinney, 35, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
*Michael A. Cima, 37, of Corbin, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Roger D. Keith, 44, of Williamsburg, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*James Fair, 37, of Williamsburg, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
*Opalene Lawson, 46, of Mud Creek, first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance.
Two others were arrested on other warrants. They included Clarence R. Mills, 44, of Williamsburg, who was arrested on a bench warrant out of Barren County. Wayne C. Marcus, 21, of Williamsburg, was also arrested on a bench warrant out of Whitley County for not paying fines.
More arrests are pending, according to the sheriff.
Authorities haul in accused drug dealers
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
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