By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
“You may be next.”
That’s the ominous warning from Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell to those dealing in illegal drugs throughout the county.
Before the humidity could creep up and make the air feel like 100 degrees, members of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, two county constables and two Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers took to the county roads Tuesday morning, warrants in one hand and sets of cuffs in the other.
It was the latest drug roundup in Whitley County, and this time the department had no name for Tuesday’s roundup.
Eight people were charged by 11 a.m. — seven of whom were arrested Tuesday morning.
“Making Whitley County a safer place to live and work for her residents — that’s what this team is all about,” said Detective Sgt. Tim Baker. “We plan to continue targeting all of Whitley County’s drug dealers — so if you’re dealing, start looking over your shoulders.”
Those arrested and their charges are:
— Paula L. Bargo, 25, of the Gatliff Community, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. She was arrested at her home without incident and jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center, where she remains under a $7,500 cash bond.
— Danny Lee Fyffe, 49, of Canadatown, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. He was not arrested Tuesday — he was already jailed on federal charges in the Laurel County Correctional Center. He was arrested in May by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in connection with meth lab activities — he was one name on a federal indictment for 12 defendants with that case. In Whitley County, he faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
— Arnold J. Hill, 34, of Rockholds, faces charges of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. He was arrested without incident by Detective Baker and jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center, where he remains under a $7,500 cash bond.
— Penny Irvin, 51, of the Gatliff Community, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. She was arrested at her home without incident along with her husband, however, when deputies took her to be placed in the detention center, she was turned away. According to Irvin herself, she was in a car crash at the beginning of July which left her with broken ribs and other injuries. Because of those injuries, Chief Deputy K.Y. Fuson said she was refused entry into the jail. Fuson and Baker then headed for the Whitley County Courthouse to see Judge Cathy Prewitt, who allowed Ms. Irvin to return to her home with a court date to be arraigned.
— Tommy Irvin Sr., 52, of the Gatliff Community, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. He and his wife were both arrested without incident in their home. Irvin was jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center under a $7,500 cash bond.
— Clarence Ray Mills, 45, of Williamsburg, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, his second or greater alleged offense. He was arrested and brought shirtless to the WCSD for processing, then transported to the WCDC where he remains jailed under a $7,500 cash bond.
—Stephen Blake Randle, 49, of Williamsburg, faces charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. Deputies first arrived at his home on KY 1064, then drove to a business in search of him. Deputies received information there the suspect was driving a truck with black running boards, which was following a flatbed truck loaded with scrap metal. Deputies caught up with the two vehicles on U.S. 25E near the KY 92 East intersection. Randle was arrested in a store parking lot without incident, then transported to the WCDC, where he remains jailed under a $7,500 cash bond.
— Chucky Lynn Wade, 55, of Rockholds, faces charges of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. Wade contacted the sheriff’s department during the roundup, and when he learned an arrest warrant had been issued, arranged to turn himself into deputies. He was jailed in the WCDC under a $7,500 cash bond.
“This is something the community really needs,” Harrell said. “(These dealers) are a nuisance for one, and it’s an expensive habit (that’s) bad for your health.”
He added that drug addiction “is a difficult problem,” that leads “to any number of” other crimes or criminal activity.
“We are having success,” Harrell said concerning the drug problem in Whitley County. “And we’re going to continue to do it.”
Tuesday’s arrests were the culmination of about 7-9 months of investigation, according to Harrell. “That was one of my goals — one of my promises,” Harrell said. “And it needs to be done.”
Harrell said the department was after 14 suspects Tuesday, all of whom he said are wanted for trafficking offenses. More arrests are expected, he said.
Eight charged in Whitley drug roundup
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
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