A federal grand jury has indicted two men for allegedly conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Whitley County.
In the indictment returned Friday in U.S. District Court in London, 33-year-old Bradley Justin Lawson of Corbin and 24-year-old Christopher L. Jones of Lily are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 ore more grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine over a one-year period between August 2014 and August 2015.
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Shawn W. Rogers conducted the investigation that led to the indictment.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Lawson, which was filed in U.S. District Court on April 7, DEA agents, working in conjunction with Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies and Williamsburg police, initially interviewed a confidential source on Aug. 6, 2015 who said that Lawson and Jones were on their way back to Kentucky with a supply of crystal methamphetamine.
Williamsburg Police were stationed on northbound Interstate 75 south of Williamsburg to wait for the pickup truck in which the duo was reportedly travelling.
About 5:30 a.m., Williamsburg Police Detective Bobby Freeman spotted the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jones and Lawson was the passenger.
“Chief Bird asked Jones if he would consent to a search of the vehicle and Jones granted consent to search the vehicle,” Rogers said in the affidavit.
Inside a black duffle bag, officers reported finding a plastic bag that contained 152.2 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
“Officers also located a plastic bag containing several smaller bags that are consistent with ones used for street level drug transactions and a set of digital scales,” Rogers said.
After being advised of his Miranda Rights, Rogers said Lawson agreed to speak with officers, explaining that he was picking up the crystal methamphetamine from a source in Georgia and returning it to Kentucky to sell.
The source reportedly charged $1,000 per ounce for the crystal methamphetamine.
Law enforcement reportedly spoke with at least two other confidential sources that corroborated what Lawson had told them.
Bird said previously that crystal methamphetamine, known as “Ice,” is becoming more common in Whitley County.
“Ice has always been hit or miss here,” Bird said previously. “It would pop up in spurts but I would say that since early June we have just been hammered with it. I have never seen anything spread as fast.”
Bird explained that unlike the methamphetamine made locally, which is 40 to 60 percent pure methamphetamine, Ice is typically over 95 percent pure methamphetamine.
Bird said his department has investigated numerous overdose deaths attributed to Ice.