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5 Carroll Co. residents arrested in drug sting

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By The Staff

The News-Democrat

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Local law enforcement had their own version of spring cleaning Friday morning, March 20, rounding up 17 of 26 individuals indicted recently by a Carroll County grand jury for drug trafficking.

Five Carroll residents, Patricia Wilburn, 43; Howard Taylor, 38; Tina Meece, 41; Carolyn Holliday, 69; and James Burgin, 72, all were arrested; each was lodged in the Carroll County Detention Center on $20,000 full cash bonds, jail officials said.

Burgin was the only Carroll County resident arrested who posted his bond and was released. The others remained in lockup as of press time Tuesday.

Eleven individuals from Owen County were indicted on drug charges; four were from Gallatin County; five were from Henry County; and one was from Frankfort.

Dubbed “Operation Spring Clean-up” by the Kentucky State Police, the arrests were an extension of investigations continuing after a similar bust on Nov. 13, in which 49 of 68 people indicted were arrested in a multi-agency dragnet.

As with the November bust, officers from sheriff’s departments in Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Owen and Boone counties joined forces with KSP and the Owenton Police Department. The sting netted no Carrollton residents, but the Carrollton Police Department was available if needed, said KSP Detective Sgt. Vic Hubbuch.

The 35 officers involved met at 5 a.m. Friday at the National Guard Armory on State Hwy. 227 in Carrollton and divided into seven teams before going out to make the arrests. Each team had information packets regarding the individuals they were to bring in.

A temporary booking station was set up at the armory, and those arrested were photographed, fingerprinted and interrogated before being taken to the Carroll County jail.

CCDC employees Sgt. Janice Meadows, Capt. Darla Ray and Deputy Jesse Saggus handled processing and transporting of the individuals from the armory to the detention center on Clay Street.

KSP undercover detectives have been working for months with sheriff’s departments from the four-county area and other areas.   

“There are people we have purchased drugs from that have since moved out of the county,” Hubbuch said. “That does not stop us from going and finding them at their new locations. If we can’t find them at those locations, then we have a criminal analyst at Post 5 (in Campbellsburg), and she can track down individuals using the most current information available.”

Local departments develop informants and KSP provides resources including money and manpower to actually buy the drugs from suspects and conduct investigations.

Hubbuch said local departments are better at developing sources because they have lived in the counties most of their lives, and people go to them with information.  

“We work hand in hand with these local departments to do these investigations,” Hubbuch said.

As in the 68 arrests made in November, individuals arrested this past Friday all face multiple charges and each is alleged to have sold sold drugs to undercover officers or informants more than once, Hubbuch explained.

In all, those arrested face a total of 27 felony charges and 16 misdemeanor charges.  

Hubbuch said active drug investigations are ongoing. “If the opportunity presents itself, they [undercover officers] will be out buying drugs tonight,” he said.