Paul A. Prosperino, 57, of Hazard, was charged with selling a schedule III controlled substance following a drug buy at a residence on Walnut Street.
Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE noted that Prosperino sold the drug to an undercover detective. Authorities with UNITE and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office subsequently served a search warrant at the residence and located $2,232 in cash, 30 loaded handguns, and more than 2,000 prescription pills including methadone and Alprazolam. Smoot said some of the pills appeared to be legally prescribed, while others were in unlabeled pill bottles or blister packs.
And as law enforcement in Kentucky continue to combat the funneling of out-of-state prescription pills coming into the state, this case presents the potential for yet another source for traffickers to obtain illegal drugs.
According to Smoot, the origin of the pills confiscated on Friday varies, with some coming from within the United States and others internationally.
“Some of them have a Pennsylvania address, and we do know that he’s formally from Pennsylvania,” said Smoot, “and then we found several mailers from the country of India.”
Smoot said the mailers, which were stamped with customs approval, were a first for the agency.
“Obviously, this is the first time we’ve ever seen this,” he said, adding that the agency has confiscated drugs believed to be from Mexico in other cases before, but have never seen drugs shipped in directly from a source in another country.
Prosperino is currently facing a charge of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, but Smoot noted that more charges are pending the result of the investigation.
“I expect Mr. Presperino will have additional charges when indicted,” said Smoot.