Commonwealth Journal

November 10, 2012

More than 20 people indicted in local drug ring

By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

More than 20 people have been indicted in connection with an apparent organized drug ring.
Investigators with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery’s office presented evidence concerning a “major drug trafficking organization” in Pulaski County to a Pulaski County grand jury last week.
“Investigators determined between March 2012 and July 2012 numerous individuals from Pulaski County traveled outside of Pulaski County in an attempt to purchase large quantities of pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine,” stated a press release from the sheriff’s department. 
Those people allegedly purchased large amounts of pseudoephedrine in Pulaski, Anderson, Boyle, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, and Lincoln counties, according to the press release. They then returned back into the county and sold the drug to methamphetamine manufacturers, according to the sheriff’s department. 
The grand jury returned indictments on a total of 23 people — with 21 of those people being indicted for engaging in organized criminal activities.
Walter Davidson, 38, of Rhonder Drive, Science Hill, Cody Whisenant, 22, of Rhonder Drive, Science Hill, and James Carrender, 23, of Jewell Street Somerset, have been arrested in connection with the syndicate and lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. All three were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and engaging in organized crime. 
Under Kentucky law, a charge of engaging in organized crime can be handed down if five or more people are found to be working together to promote, aid or commit a crime. Those alleged criminal activities must be ongoing.
Conspiracy and engaging in organized crime charges are Class B felonies and can bring 10-20 years in prison. 
“When you engage in this type of behavior, it can result in catastrophic criminal consequences,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David L. Dalton. 
Others indicted in connection with the syndicate, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, include the following:
• Cody Sears, 245, of Lair Street, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Ashley Sluder, 21, of Lair Street, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime. 
• Steven Burchfield, 34, of Woodland Mobile Home Park, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Amanda Brown, 28, indicted with manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Casey Burchfield, 24, of Losey Street, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Johnny Burchfield, 30, of Losey Street, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Gary Curtis, 39, of Old Pumphouse Road, indicted with manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Joyce Brinson, 49, of Bethlehem Ridge Road, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Kevin Marcum, 28, of Slate Branch Road, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Jennifer Marcum, 26, of Slate Branch Road, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Nathan Shelton, 36, of Elliot Drive, Somerset, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Jimmy Casada, 38, of Stephens Street, Eubank, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Misty Benefield, 32, of Ky. 196, Nancy, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Kendra Epperson, 27, of Hatfield Road, Nancy, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Audrey Randolph, 26, of Wayne Street, Science Hill, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Sabrina Grant, 24, of Catalpa Court, London, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Thomas Brown, 54, of Edgewater Road, Corbin, indicted with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime.
• Carmen Wilkerson, 22, of Freedom Church Road, Eubank, charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and engaging in organized crime. 
Edwin Kean, 28, of Shannon Drive, Science Hill, and Catrina Hornsby, 34, of Old Pumphouse Road, were also indicted on manufacturing methamphetamine charges in connection with the investigation. 
Kean has been arrested, according to the sheriff’s department. 
The investigation into the drug ring is continuing and more charges are expected by investigators in the future. 
A call placed to Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood for further comment on the case was not returned by press time Saturday. 
An indictment is an accusation only. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.