Police Investigation

Oct 4, 2013 1:46 PM

29 Arrested In Harlan County After Undercover Drug Investigation

Police have arrested 29 suspects from a list of 51 arrest warrants for Harlan County residents that police say are in connection with a nine-month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE into drug trafficking within the area.

"There is a terrible problem with prescription pills in this area," said Paul Hays, law enforcement director for UNITE. He also said a majority of the purchases made during the investigation were of the narcotic painkiller Oxycodone.

Following their arrest, suspects were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, police had arrested 29 individuals. They are:

• Ricky Bingham, 32, Baxter, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Todd Reese Blair, 49, Cumberland, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billy Boggs, 38, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Patricia Cody, 39, Highway 72, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Rick Cody, 52, Highway 72, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Mark Cox, 50, Tremont, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Michael Earls, 29, Cawood, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

• Steven Edwards, 40, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Chester Engle, 44, Cawood, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Samuel Gaines, 47, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eddie Grubbs, 53, Cawood, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Peggy Hatfield, 61, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Lee R. Helton, 67, Loyall, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Teresa Howard, 46, Cumberland, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eric Huff, 27, Cumberland, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billy J. Johnson, 44, Harlan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Catise Latham, 28, Baxter, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Twilla Latham, 43, Baxter, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Donald Lay, 43, Loyall, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Heather Middleton, 37, Cawood, two counts trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Walter Middleton, 43, Coalgood, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Tammy Mills, 51, Dayhoit, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Wendy Osborne, 25, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Franklin Parker, 34, Pathfork, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Thomas Polson, 37, Clutz, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Eddie Reese, 25, Cumberland, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Bill Robbins, 57, Cawood, four counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

• Bethel Stewart, 50, Cawood, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• William Whitehead, 30, Cumberland, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count second-degree persistent felony offender.

Law enforcement officials were continuing to search for the remaining suspects.

For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org.

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