TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

February 8, 2013

Eight arrested after roundup

Seven nabbed for drugs; one for theft in Whitley


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Handcuffs in Whitley County received a workout Thursday morning during the latest Whitley County Sheriff’s Department drug roundup.

Sheriff Colan Harrell said nearly all suspects sought Thursday face charges accusing them of dealing controlled substances. All suspects arrested remain innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Harrell explained the arrests culminated from extensive investigation.

“Some of these we’ve had for six — maybe eight months,” he said.

He added evidence against those wanted in the roundup include audio and visual recordings.

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

“It’s that simple.”

Those arrested and their charges are:

— Kenneth D. Barnhill, 46, of Williamsburg, theft by unlawful taking. According to Harrell, Barnhill reportedly took cash to trade for drugs, but never returned with the requested narcotic.

— Michael Justin Leach, 25, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. Leach is under a $5,000 cash bond.

— Judith Ann Meadors, 52, of Canadatown, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Meadors was on the roundup list but an arrest was not necessary — Meadors has been jailed in Whitley County Detention Center since Sept. 19 on a probation violation. Harrell said her newest charges were filed Thursday.

— Melissa Karen Newberry, 34, of Williamsburg, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Newberry said at the sheriff’s office she was told her bond would likely be a $5,000 cash bond.

— Diedra Dalene Partin, 52, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. She was arrested early afternoon Thursday.

— Johnny R. Satterfield, 34, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. Once in the sheriff’s office, he repeatedly denied having sold anything.

—Danny Wayne Whitehead, 52, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. He and his wife were both arrested Thursday.

— Phillis Whitehead, 50, of Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense.

All arrested were jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center. While processing paperwork, three of the arrested, Newberry, Satterfield and Leach asked each other if they knew “who got them.” Newberry also asked the deputies, who explained they would find all that information from their attorneys. Suspects will also see the evidence against them.

When asked why do they “deal drugs,” Satterfield offered an answer, noting that he “didn’t sell anything” himself. “I’m disabled and don’t’ have enough money,” Satterfield said. “For most of us we do it to survive.”

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.”

Sheriff Harrell agreed, vowing more arrests will come.

“I promise you there will be plenty more,” he said.

WARRANTS OUT FOR EIGHT MORE

By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

While eight suspects were jailed during Thursday’s roundup in Whitley County, Sheriff Colan Harrell said he has warrants for eight more.

In an attempt to serve one of those warrants Thursday, deputies filled the driveway of the residence of Donald Hurst, 42, wanted for second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Deputies knocked, and knocked. They vocalized their presence. And although movement from inside the home could be heard, no one arrived at the door. Neighbors gathered outside and said that Hurst had left earlier.

Again deputies knocked loudly on the door, but received no answer.

“We don’t want to kick it down,” one deputy shouted, but still the door didn’t open.

Finally, with guns drawn, deputies stormed the residence.

Inside they found 46-year-old Opal Hurst, who told deputies she “was asleep.” She repeatedly asked “what is this all about?”

“You should have answered the door,” Harrell told her.

While at the residence, deputies arranged to seize a vehicle, reportedly used while trafficking drugs.

Harrell said he wants to get the word out about other wanted suspects, and said maybe some of those suspects will turn themselves in.

Suspects being sought by the WCSD and their charges are:

— Lovetta Bryant, 51, of Williamsburg, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

— Wendy Day, 33, of Williamsburg, theft by unlawful taking. According to Harrell, Day allegedly took money given to her to trade for illegal drugs, then never returned with the cash or the drugs.

— 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.

— Robert Leach, 43, of Gray, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

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

— David Vanderpool, 52, Williamsburg, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Harrell said Thursday more drug arrests are expected.