A series of investigations by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies has led to multiple federal arrests and the disruption of a major drug distribution ring in the county.
McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters released details on two of the investigations this week, and stated additional arrests are pending as the result of those actions.
More than two pounds of meth has been seized over the course of the cases.
“Along with other law enforcement agencies, at the local, state and federal level, we have uncovered what we believe is a large-scale meth distribution ring in McCreary County,” Sheriff Waters said.
“I took an oath to serve and protect the citizens of McCreary County, and these arrests have made our county a lot safer with these drugs off the streets.”
“Over the course of the past year we have been gathering information from the result of several arrests and investigations that have led up to identifying suspected suppliers of meth to several individuals,” he added.
“We have been working with federal agencies to obtain indictments against these individuals and following the information to identify even more suspects. A supplier from outside Kentucky has been identified and federal agents are hoping to be able to make an arrest in the near future.”
“A federal Judge agreed to issue indictments against 14 individuals in the case this past week,” Waters said.
Sheriff Waters said while the investigation is still ongoing, he was able to release information on two cases that contributed to the arrests but some names have been left out due to pending indictments.
As the investigation continues, Sheriff Waters stated he would release more details when available.
Sheriff Waters reported he and his deputies took part in three raids before Christmas that netted a large quantity of meth, a huge cache of guns and money and possibly led investigators to an out-of-state supplier for the drugs.
Working with the Kentucky State Police, U.S. Forest Service, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the raids helped identify suspects in the case and link them to the larger conspiracy.
The first investigation started on December 17 after Deputy Milford Creekmore responded to a call of suspicious activity on the Murray Cemetery Road. Upon arrival he discovered a male and a female subject in a vehicle who were in possession of a quantity of meth and marijuana.
Sheriff Waters interviewed the subjects and through that investigation was able to obtain a search warrant for two residences, one in Pine Knot and the other in Sawyer.
Over six ounces of methamphetamine were recovered at the Pine Knot home, along with several guns and more than $2,700 in cash.
The search then went to the second residence in Sawyer where officers encountered a dangerous situation.
Joined by officers from the Kentucky State Police, Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force and ATF agents, law enforcement officials attempted to make entry into the residence but were met by an assailant wielding a shotgun.
Pulling back to a safe distance, the officers engaged in an hour-long stand-off with the suspects before they were able to resolve the situation and arrest the three individuals inside.
No injuries were reported.
An additional 50 guns were recovered from the residence.
Indictments against the individuals are pending.
A second raid, stemming from a July arrest, led to a federal indictment against three individuals.
On Wednesday, December 23, Sheriff Waters, along with KSP, LCAD and ATF agents raided a residence in Stearns where several ounces of meth was recovered, as well as a rifle, and three hand guns – one of which was stolen.
According to the indictment, Steven Green, Joyce Good (AKA Joyce Watson) and Scotty Watson are accused of conspiring together, and with others, to distribute meth in McCreary County.
The affidavit for the indictment was filed by ATF Officer Raleigh B. Benge, who serves as part of a special task force with the federal agency.
Benge states Officer Chris King with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted a traffic stop on July 27, 2015. Noticing a strong smell of marijuana, Officer King enlisted the aid of U.S. Forest Service Officer Tim Grooms and his K-9 Officer to assist.
The K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs in the vehicle, and a search was conducted. Recovered were a handgun, cash, pills and approximately 3 ounces of methamphetamine.
The driver, Steven Green was arrested and interviewed by agents of the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force. Green reportedly admitted the meth was in his possession.
In November LCADTF and ATF agents arrested Green again in Pulaski County after using a cooperating witness to set up a drug buy.
During his interview with officers after the arrest, Green stated he was regularly supplied with about one pound of meth from Good and Watson per month.
On December 23 officers sent a cooperating witness to Good and Watson’s residence to make arrangements to pick up meth later that day.
That afternoon the witness contacted officers and informed them that two individuals had delivered meth to him/her, claiming it was from Good.
Agents recovered approximately 12.4 ounces of the drug from the witness, then obtained a search warrant for Good and Watson’s residence.
That evening officers from the MCSD, KSP, ATF and LCAD executed the warrant and recovered over $5,000 in cash, four loaded firearms and over 11 ounces of meth.
Both Good and Watson reportedly admitted to possessing the drugs, and to obtaining meth from a source in Georgia every few weeks for the past year.
Sheriff Waters states the two cases appear to tie together in to a larger case, and several follow-up investigations have been initiated with federal proceedings pending.