Police serve 13 with warrants in latest drug roundup
by Cris Ritchie
HAZARD – Several people were served with arrest warrants Thursday in connection with drug investigations as part of a multi-agency roundup.
Authorities fanned out in Perry County in search of 26 individuals indicted on drug trafficking charges related to the sale of prescription drugs, noted Det. Keith Napier with Operation UNITE. As of the early afternoon hours, police reported that 13 warrants had been or were ready to serve.
The cases were investigated by Appalachian HIDTA, Kentucky State Police DESI, and Operation UNITE, and involved drug buys by cooperating witnesses, Napier noted. The Hazard Police Department also assisted with Thursday’s arrests.
Each of the investigating agencies have remained busy with drug trafficking cases in the region, and Napier said those types of investigations will remain ongoing as long as the region’s drug epidemic continues.
“We will continue our efforts to investigate individuals in Eastern Kentucky who are involved in the illegal sale of controlled substances,” he said.
Napier also noted that much of the information law enforcement agencies receive comes via tips from the community, and it is important that these kinds of tips continue to be made.
“It is critical that we receive that information, because a lot of the times that’s how we determine what we’re going to investigate, how we find out what’s going on the communities,” he said.
Individuals served with warrants on Thursday include the following:
Jacqueline Fugate, 43, of Busy
Hazel Watts, 24, of Hazard
Randy Watts, 27, of Combs
Melissa Stidham, 36, of Bonnyman
Bransford P. Olinger, 33, of Hazard
Paul Napier, 53, of Happy
Deborah Slone, 49, of Combs
Daphine Feltner, 41, of Hazard
John Slover, 30, of Combs
Tips can be made to the Operation UNITE tipline at 1-866-424-4382.
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