TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
“We’ve made a serious dent in meth-making.”
That’s what Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said Monday after announcing 28 residents from throughout the Canadatown Community were federally indicted on conspiracy charges to manufacture methamphetamine.
“We’ve spent a lot of time (in that community) in the last two years,” Bird said. “This community is going to be hit very hard with this.”
He added that many of these suspects are multi-felony offenders with a history of committing other crimes, such as robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts and the like, also have plagued the Canadatown Community.
“The community really needed it,” Bird said. “This is the largest (conspiracy crime) that we’ve been a part of.”
He added that investigations into meth making, dealing and buying will continue in the city, and with cooperation from other agencies.
The Williamsburg Police Department, the Kentucky State Police and the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives led a joint effort in this investigation.
“This could not be possible without all the agencies working together,” Bird said, adding that cooperation from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Kentucky Probation and Parole and Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble were also “instrumental” in bringing this case to fruition.
“Like I said, we couldn’t have done it without all these guys,” he said.
The investigation kicked off several months ago after a meth lab and bomb was discovered at a Nanny Hubbard Road residence.
Three of those indicted Monday — Lisa Canada Ball, Daniel J. Moeser and Jerry Wayne White — were arrested that day in March.
According to a joint press release from KSP, WPD and the ATF, the discovery of both the meth lab and the bomb so close to the lab prompted the involvement of the ATF and the KSP Hazardous Device Unit.
“When ATF arrived, it was determined the suspect device was in fact an explosive device containing two electric detonators, a binary explosive mixture containing ammonium nitrate and other items,” the release states.
This led to further investigation that uncovered an alleged “large-scale conspiracy” to make meth in the Canadatown area.
“Over a two-year period, the defendants manufactured, or conspired to manufacture, methamphetamine at 21 different locations in the Canadatown Community,” states the release.
Bird explained that people would “cook” the drug while driving vehicles or even walking along the road with a “bottle cook” in their pocket or hand.
“It should be noted that these people are not only meth cooks,” the release states. “Several of the accused are multi-felony offenders…”
However, as Bird said, the indictments have put a “dent” in the meth-making in Williamsburg and Whitley County.
“We are not just putting an end to meth cooks — we are taking out thieves and violent criminals (who) have plagued this community for so long,” the release states.
Those indicted are as follows:
—Lisa Gail Ball, 49, of Nanny Hubbard Road.
—Danny Lee Fyffe, 49, of Lynn Ackers Road
—Wendell R. Canada, 31, of Canadatown
—Michelle Lynn Manning, 33, of Highway 90
—Joanna Elsie Cansler, 55, of Cumberland
—Robert Martin Church, 27, of Cumberland
—Jason Wade Taylor, 31, of Williamsburg
—Anthony Levi Rose, 32, of Young Cemetery Road
—James R. Bennett, 39, of Canadatown
—William Helbig Jr., 36, of Williamsburg
—Bobby D. Canada Jr., 26, of Williamsburg
—Ryan David Carlson, 36, of Williamsburg
—Jamie Mark Gibson, 41, of Williamsburg
—Robert Joe Gibson, 23, of Williamsburg
—George Hubbard, 49, of Williamsburg
—James Forest Manning, 35, of Corbin
—Wayne Carl Marcus, 32, of Williamsburg
—Daniel J. Moeser, 44, of Williamsburg
—Mark Morrow, 46, of Williamsburg
—Harrison Brian Sulfridge, 33, of Williamsburg
—Jerry Wayne White, 36, of Williamsburg
—Teanna Marie Cansler, 34, of Cumberland
—Suzann Judy Phillips, 49, of Williamsburg
—Billy Ray Richardson, 35, of Williamsburg
—Beverly Evon Wilson, 28, of Williamsburg
—Anna Marie Davis, 24, of Williamsburg
—David Allen Davis, 29, of Williamsburg
—Aaron David Ellison, 35, of Williamsburg
THE UNSEALED INDICTMENT
On Monday, a federal superseding indictment was unsealed revealing 28 residents of Whitley County face charges relating to a conspiracy to manufacture large quantities of meth.
Investigators with ATF, KSP, the United States Marshal’s Office, and the WPD arrested at least a half dozen defendants late Sunday night, early Monday morning — the remaining defendants have already been jailed.
A superseding indictment alters or changes information from a previous indictment, which, according to a second press release from Kyle Edelen, the public affairs officer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Lexington, was returned sealed by a federal grand jury in London.
Sixteen defendants were added to the original indictment, filed in May, in a conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of a meth mixture over a three-and-a-half year period. May’s indictment listed the first 12 charged with the conspiracy.
Edelen stated that some of the defendants in this case now have more drug and firearm offenses in this superseding indictment.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Stuart L. Lowery, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Bird and Loren Carl, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky, jointly announced the superseding indictment Monday.
Defendants arrested Monday make their first court appearance today, while arraignment for other defendants are slated for Aug. 2.
In the first count, all 28 defendants are indicted for conspiring together knowingly and intentionally to make 500 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of meth. This charge is alleged to have begun in January 2010 and continued through July 3.
Count 2 indicts James Manning for knowingly and intentionally make a mixture containing a detectable amount of meth on Feb. 26, 2011.
Count 3 also indicts James Manning for “being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance….did knowingly possess in and affecting interstate commerce (of) multiple firearms.” The indictment lists those weapons as a Hi-Point, unknown model, .380-caliber pistol, a J.C. Higgins, Model 30 .22-caliber rifle, a Remington, unknown model, 20-gauge shotgun, a Smith & Wesson, unknown model, .38-caliber revolver, two rifles, unknown makes or models, and a Winchester, unknown model .22-caliber rifle. This count is also alleged to have occurred Feb. 26, 2011.
Count 4 indicts James Manning again for knowingly carrying and using a firearm (the Hi-Point) during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, as stated in the second count of the indictment.
Count 5 of the indictment charges Daniel John Moeser with offenses alleged to have occurred March 1. He is indicted for possessing and affecting interstate commerce of multiple explosives (two electric detonators and one binary explosive mixture) after being convicted of a crime punishable by a prison sentence exceeding one year. He’s been arrested in Whitley County seven times since 2011, according to JailTracker.
Count 6 indicts Lisa Canada Ball for knowingly possessing in and affecting interstate commerce of multiple explosives (the detonators and explosive mixture) while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance on March 1.
Count 7 indicts Moeser for possessing and affecting interstate commerce of multiple firearms after being convicted of a crime punishable by a prison sentence exceeding one year. Those firearms confiscated were a Marlin Model 60 .22-caliber rifle, and a Harrington and Richardson unknown model .410-gauge shotgun.
Count 8 indicts Ball for knowingly possessing in and affecting interstate commerce of multiple firearms while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance on March 1. Those are the same firearms listed in Count 7.
Count 9 indicts Jamie Mark Gibson of knowingly possessing in and affecting interstate commerce of multiple firearms (a Marlin Model 60 .22-caliber rifle) while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance on May 16.
Count 10 indicts Danny Lee Fyffe of knowingly possessing in and affecting interstate commerce of multiple firearms (a Marlin Model 60 .22-caliber rifle) while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance on May 23.
All 28 of these defendants indicted in Count 1 could receive a sentence of not less than 10 years and not more than life in prison, a $10 million fine and no less than five years of supervised release. If they have one prior felony drug conviction, all 28 could receive no less than 20 years apiece and not exceeding life in prison, a $20 million fine, and 10 years of supervised release.
If any of those 28 have two or more prior felony drug convictions, they could get not less than life in prison and a $20 million fine.
Manning is indicted in Count 2, and he could receive no more than 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and no less than 3 years supervised release.
Manning also faces Count 3 of the indictment, for which he could be sentenced to not more than 10 years, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release.
Manning is also named in Count 4, and for that conviction he could receive not less than five years up to life in prison, consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for any other offense, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Moeser, Ball, Gibson and Fyffe are named in counts 5-10, and for their convictions they could be sentenced to not more than 10 years, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release.
An indictment is a formal charge by a grand jury — it is not an admission of guilt.