UPDATE: Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three more people in connection with the case of a teen found in possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana, including plants, oil and gummies laced with oil.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, the department’s public affairs officer, said deputies arrested, Joshua C. Brown, 25, Harmony Vaughn, 20, and Austin May, 20, following a traffic stop off of Taylor subdivision Road approximately two miles south of Campground Elementary School at approximately 1:45 p.m. Monday.
Acciardo stated that each of the individuals was found in possession of a large quantity of processed marijuana and marijuana oil.
Brown, Vaughn and May were each charged with one count of trafficking in marijuana – more than 8 ounces but under 5 pounds.
“Through the course of the investigation, we were able to connect these individuals to case,” Acciardo said declining to provide further details.
They were lodged in the Laurel County Correctional Center.
Acciardo said the investigation is continuing and additional arrests are expected.
A Laurel County teen was arrested Saturday after deputies recovered more than 50 pounds of marijuana, including processed plants, oil and gummies laced with oil that deputies say is associated with a state and local investigation.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, the department’s public affairs officer, said deputies arrested the 16-year-old male at a residence off of Ky. 229 in southeast Laurel County on charges of trafficking marijuana over 5 pounds, possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts of possession of a handgun by a minor.
“Investigation has determined that the marijuana was headed into our local schools,” Acciardo stated.
Acciardo said deputies recovered 11 pounds of marijuana oil, 16 pounds of high-grade marijuana believed to have been shipped from California, and 30 pounds of gummies candy laced with marijuana oil.
Acciardo said the gummies were store-bought candy onto which the oil had been introduced with the use of a wax and butter derivative.
Deputies also recovered 349 vape pens, though which the marijuana oil may be consumed.
“We got to it before the distribution process had begun,” Acciardo said when asked if any of the gummies had been located at any of the area schools.
Most of the area along Ky. 229 is served by Campground Elementary. Middle and high school students would attend South Laurel.
Acciardo said in an effort to protect the identity of the teen, the location of the residence is not being released.
The juvenile has been lodged in the juvenile detention center in Breathitt County.
Acciardo said additional arrests are anticipated.
While juveniles tried in court as adults most frequently occurs in murder cases, Acciardo said Kentucky law does permit a juvenile to be tried as an adult in other instances.
“We will have to wait and see what happens as the case makes it way through the court system,” Acciardo said noting that the amount of drugs involved and the potential that those involved were targeting children may impact the decision.
Detective James Sizemore is continuing the investigation.
He was assisted at the scene by Captain Kevin Berry, Detective Bryon Lawson, deputies Joey Robinson, John Wright and Jake Miller, and Kentucky State Police.