Five people are facing serious felony charges for illegally selling alcoholic beverages.
Orla Lee Smith Jr., 55, of 2569 Blackwater Road in London; Jessica Danielle Sumner, 30, of 791 Hancock Avenue in Corbin; Harold E. Mayton, 71, no address listed; Jigneshkumar Patel, 34, address not listed; and Joshua D. Malone, 33, of 364 Storms Lane in Keavy are all named in a three-count indictment returned Friday by a Laurel grand jury.
Count one charges all five with engaging in organized crime for "operating and/or profiting from the illegal transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages in a county that is dry as well as trafficking alcoholic beverages by knowingly selling, bartering, keeping or transporting for sale or batter" of the alcohol. The illegal sale of alcohol is stated as having taken place from Jan. 23, 2017 through Feb. 14, 2019.
Sumner is additionally charged with second-degree persistent felony offender. She has a prior conviction in Whitley County for unlawful possession of a meth precursor in 2013.
While alcohol sales are permitted within city limits of London, the county remains a dry territory. Persons selling alcoholic beverages must have a license granted through the state after an application to sell the products are approved by state officials.
An East Bernstadt man is facing a seven-count indictment stemming from a domestic dispute on July 1.
Dustin L. Patterson, 26, of Four Oak Road, is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment, second-degree assault, second-degree burglary, first-degree fleeing or evading police, fourth-degree assault, public intoxication and first-degree persistent felony offender by a Laurel grand jury.
The incident began with a domestic dispute in which Patterson hit his girlfriend and her 3-year-old son with a baseball bat, then left the residence on Chapel Road, according to the police report. The couple had been arguing over money, according to the arrest citation, when Patterson became aggressive and came toward the female with the bat. She attempted to take the bat from him, causing him to strike both her and the child during the altercation. The child was struck in the head.
Patterson then fled the residence, running to another home on West KY 1396 and pushing past the homeowner to get inside there to hide from police. The homeowner told police arriving at the scene that Patterson said he needed inside the home because “people were trying to kill him.” He was manifestly under the influence at the time of his arrest, according to the report filed by Deputy Brad Mink.
A Woolum, Kentucky, man was also indicted on multiple charges from a July 31 incident.
Rex Allen Gray, 31, of Hammons Fork Road is charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal abuse, tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of a forged instrument, third-degree possession of controlled substance (Diazepam), possession of marijuana, driving on revoked or suspended license, speeding and first-degree possession of controlled substance.
Gray was arrested after police received a call of a man inside the Pilot station on West Cumberland Gap Parkway that had stolen a vape. Deputy Josh Morgan attempted to stop the maroon Trailblazer that Gray had gotten in but he pulled off from the gas pumps and headed toward KY 770 with a female passenger. Gray ran a red light to avoid Morgan, then turned onto Locust Grove Road, then onto Cassidy Road, according to the report. He lost control of the vehicle on Cassidy Road and struck an out building. Gray possessed plastic baggie with green leafy substance and a counterfeit $1 bill.
He is held on a $10,000 cash bond until his pretrial hearing on Dec. 12.
Four hundred dollars from an October robbery has a woman facing 10 to 20 years in prison.
Rebecca Lynn Welch, 22, lists two addresses on an indictment returned by a Laurel grand jury - one in Flat Lick in Knox County and one in Corbin in Whitley County. She is charged with first-degree robbery on Oct. 3 in which she is accused of holding a man at gunpoint and taking $400 from him.
Court documents show Welch is currently in custody at the Laurel County Correctional Center where she has been since Oct. 13. The indictment set her bond at $10,000 although jail records indicate that her bond is $25,000 and she has several other charges including trafficking in heroin, possession of methamphetamine, tampering with physical evidence, driving under the influence, and hindering prosecution or apprehension. She is set for a pretrial hearing on the robbery charge on Dec. 12.
Austin Andrew Traynor, 20, of South KY 1223 in Corbin, was charged with first-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking less than $500 from an incident on Oct. 1 in which he possessed a firearm while taking a .32 caliber pistol and a drill. His bond was set at $25,000 cash.
Hemp crops across the county were the targets of thieves this past year, with two people indicted for that offense by a Laurel grand jury.
John Lee Schell, 50, of 221 Pleasant View Road in London and 49-year-old Donna Huff of Norwood Drive in Gray, Kentucky, are now facing felony charges for allegedly possessing hemp that did not belong to them.
Schell is charged with receiving stolen property over $500 for "unlawfully receiving and possessing hemp which had been stolen" on Sept. 13. He is also charged with third-degree criminal trespassing and first-degree persistent felony offender. Schell is accused of taking the hemp and remaining on the property. The persistent felony offender charge could enhance any penalty Schell may face on the charges. He has two prior felony convictions in Laurel County for possession of controlled substance in 2017 and wanton endangerment in 1999.
Huff, who is also known as Donna G. Huff, Donna M. Elliott, Donna M. Griffith and Donna Shell Griffith, is charged with "knowingly and unlawfully taking hemp of the value of $500 or more" on Sept. 18. The property owner located Huff in the hemp field, where she had been dropped off with a backpack. The arrest report states Huff had approximately 40 hemp branches with buds on them in her backpack.
Both are currently in custody and scheduled for a court appearance on Nov. 25. Schell's bond is set at $10,000 while Huff is held under $5,000 cash.
Other indictments returned on Friday included:
— Michelle Elkins, 49, also known as Michelle Cromer and Michelle Proffitt, of 3881 Chaney Ridge Road in London - first-degree trafficking in controlled substance (meth) and first-degree persistent felony offender on Aug. 21. Elkins had over 100 baggies and two sets of digital scales in her purse. One set of scales had a large amount of white residue on it.
— Ricky N. Collins, 59, of 160 Copley Road in Lily - operating a motor vehicle under the influence, fourth offense; possession of open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle and first-degree persistent felony offender. His arrest was on Oct. 19 following an investigation of an intoxicated driver on U.S. 25-S.
— Farah Ghalid, 37, of Ridgewood Road in St. Cloud, Minnesota - theft by failure to make required disposition over $500 on Sept. 24 for “converting $4,612.57” which was the property of another person for Ghalid’s own use.
— Eva Jean Carr, 36, also known as Eva Jean Robertson and Eva Jean Moore, of 8911 Hwy. 92 East in Williamsburg, Ky. - first-degree possession of controlled substance (meth) and possession of drug paraphernalia (needles) on Aug. 17.
— James Clay Robidoux, 34, also known as James Clayton Robidoux, of 7982 South Hwy. 66 in Big Creek, Ky. - flagrant non-support of one child with arrears of over $1,000 from April 1, 2016.
— Sidgel Ray Herald, 50, 192 Glades Road in Berea - flagrant non-support of one child from April 9, 2010.
— John Bricker, 42, of 233 Moore Valentine Road in Keavy - failure to comply with sex offender registration on Oct. 29, 2019.
— Willis Raymond Benway, 53, of 2359 Locust Grove Road in Keavy - possession of a handgun by a convicted felon on Sept. 13. Prior felony convictions include burglary, trespassing and theft by unlawful taking in March 2010 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
— Robert Young Jr., 51, of 541 Maplesville Road in London - possession of handgun by a convicted felon, operating motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants, failure to produce insurance card and no or expired Kentucky registration receipt on Oct. 5.
— Donald Jones, 69, of 4646 East KY 1223 in Corbin - receiving stolen firearm and trafficking in marijuana, less than 8 ounces, on June 4.
— Timothy James Storms, 33, of 131 Cobblestone Way in Corbin - third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal trespassing on Aug. 14. He and two females entered a garage and took a 5-gallon gas jug, then tried to hide their broken down vehicle in a field belonging to the victim of the theft.
— Michael L. Holland, 28, of 580 Smith and Holland Road in Manchester - first-degree possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication on Sept. 3.
— Wanda Lynn Minton, 58, also known as Wanda Lynn Minton Willis, of 71 Brown Lane in London - three counts of first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, first offense, on July 8, July 15 and Aug. 8 for selling less than 2 grams of methamphetamine on those dates.
— Reva Jo Moore, 51, also known as Reva Garland Moore, of 77 Swiss Colony Lane in London - first-degree possession of controlled substance for possessing a quantity of oxycodone on Aug. 12.
— Ashley Laura Jackson, 40, also known as Ashley McGraw, of 459 Bryant's Way; Shane Clay Botkins, 44, of 516 Curry Road and Whitney M. Greer, 27, of 3025 Summer Spring Road, all in London - Jackson is charged with first-degree trafficking in controlled substance (over 2 grams of methamphetamine) on Aug. 25 in Count 1 of the indictment while Botkins and Greer are named for the same offense in Count 2. Jackson and Greer are each charged with second-degree persistent felony offender.
— Willis Roberts, 54, and Billie Darlene Roberts, 40, both of 1610 KY 3094 in East Bernstadt - Billie Roberts is charged with first-degree possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine) on Sept. 11. Willis Roberts is charged with tampering with physical evidence on the same day. That occurred after a K-9 dog alerted on the vehicle driven by Billie Roberts and the deputy located a blue case with white crystal substance inside. Willis Roberts was drinking a pop when he exited the vehicle, with the deputy locating a clear bag with white substance inside the cup where he attempted to hide it from the deputy.
— William Rouse Tucker III, 28, of 105 Jordan Lane in Cannon, Kentucky - first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, first offense and first-degree persistent felony offender on July 23. Tucker sold more than 2 grams of methamphetamine to a cooperating witness on that date. The PFO charge stems from Tucker's two prior felonies in Knox Circuit Court of theft of identity and theft of a credit/debit card in 2015 and third-degree burglary in 2011.
An indictment is an accusation only and does not imply guilt.