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'Operation: Be My Valentine' targets 20 suspected drug dealers


Suspects from Tuesday's roundup as they leave the Whitley County Courthouse.

If the police show up banging on your door and say they have an arrest warrant, then it is generally a good idea to go answer the door even if you know they aren't looking for you.

This is the lesson one Parks Apartments resident learned Tuesday morning as Whitley County Sheriff's deputies came banging on their door during a drug round-up code named "Operation Be My Valentine."

Deputies knocked on the door of the apartment, which is located across the street from Williamsburg City Hall, for several minutes. Officers could tell someone was inside but after they didn't answer, a deputy first tried to kick in the door and then used his shoulder to force it open.

As it turned out the suspects they were looking for had moved upstairs in the apartment complex.

After a short trip up the steps, deputies knocked on another door and one of the two suspects that they were looking for answered the door.

Deputies then arrested Kenneth Barnhill and took him into custody. A second suspect, who also lived there, was already in jail on an unrelated charge.

Whitley County Sheriff's deputies, Williamsburg police and Kentucky State Police hit the streets Tuesday morning looking for 20 alleged drug dealers.

By noon, police had arrested six of the suspects and planned to charge three more, who were already in jail on other charges.
Those charged included:

• Barnhill, 47, of Parks Apartments - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Wendy Day Jones, 34, also of Parks Apartments - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Selena M. Moore, 26, of Whipporwill Road, Corbin - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Christopher Dople, 43, of Williamsburg - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Bobbie Anderson, 27, of Williamsburg - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Billie Satterfield, 40, of Old Mountain Ash Pike - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Tamara L. Campbell, 28, of Jacks Fork - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Brian Scott Archer, 48, of Tidal Wave Road - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• James Setser, 29, of Rockholds - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance-meth.

In addition, John Morris, 27, of Williamsburg, was arrested later in the day and charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Authorities are also asking for the public's help to locate 10 other suspects wanted in connection with the investigation, including:

• David T. Mitchell, 28, of Williamsburg - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Gregory Dople, 41, of Williamsburg - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Dustin Sumner, 23, of New Zion Road - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Laci Gardner, 24, of Bee Creek - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jim Baldwin, 33, of Rockholds - wanted in connection with two cases. One involves first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and the other involves second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Lois Maxwell, 41, of Devil's Creek - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Ronald Anderson, 41, of Highway 92E - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• James Bennett, 40, of Devil's Creek - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Jackie Sulfridge, 38, of Canadatown - first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance-meth.

• Billy Lawson, 24, of Whipporwill Road, Corbin - second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the remaining suspects is asked to contact the Whitley County Sheriff's Department during regular business hours at 549-6006 or after hours and on weekends at 549-6017.

Sheriff Colan Harrell said that Tuesday's round-up was several months in the making as officers from his department made controlled drug purchases at various locations in the county.

Harrell said most of the drug transactions involved the sale of pain pills but that a couple also involved the sale of methamphetamine.

None of the drug purchases during this round-up involved heroin, which is making a resurgence in Kentucky.

Harrell said that deputies try to conduct at least one drug round-up per month, but that the last three planned drug round-ups had to be postponed because of bad weather.

"The weather got so incredibly bad. I didn't want to jeopardize my men out here or anyone else for that matter," he noted. "We are going to make up for it though."

More round-ups are "definitely" planned, Harrell added.

A total of 11 officers took part in Tuesday's round-up, including: Harrell, Chief Deputy K.Y. Fuson, Narcotics Detective Tim Baker, Lt. Dave Lennon, Sgt. Brian Lawson, Deputy Jeff Anderson, K-9 Deputy Kirk Mays, Transport Officer Molly Hurst, KSP Troopers Scott Bunch and Doug Reed, Williamsburg Police Detective Bobby Freeman and Officer Brandon White.
 

Comments

Larry Wilson (February 08, 2014) Reply

I find that drugs effects our county and citizen's families to be both devastating and serious. I would like to thank Sheriff Colan and all Police Officers for their efforts in an impressive uptick on drug arrests. In my opinion, this is key to moving in the direction of positive change most Whitley County residents want to see. Please support our police in this effort by being observant and call the Whitley County Sheriffs drug tip hotline with any information. They can use the community's help. Also call the District Judges and ask them to help also. The police can only arrest. Great Job Sheriff Colan and all the other police. This comes from my family also two young daughters and one son. Whitley County voters remember before Sheriff Harrell no drug arrests were made.

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