Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Marijuana plants, pills found during safety stop

Around 8 p.m. June 28, 2017, deputies Joe Prewitt, Johnny Miller and third district Constable Dorman Patrick were conducting traffic safety efforts near the Redbird Road bridge.

A blue Ford Ranger pickup truck approached and was determined to have expired tags. The driver, Austin Brooks, 20, was also determined to be operating without vehicle insurance.

In the back seat, a storage tote contained six plants believed to be marijuana. In Brooks’ pocket were two pills.

The passenger, Katelyn J. Sulfridge, 21, was found to have several pills wrapped in cellophane in her purse.

The driver, Brooks, was arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana more than five plants, illegal possession of a legend drug, no registration and failure to maintain insurance.
Sulfridge was arrested and charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Traffic stop results in unusual meth arrests

On June 20, 2017, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling in the Louden Road area in response to the sheriff’s department receiving complaints of suspected drug activity. Dep. Saunders stopped a vehicle, the operator of which was determined to have a suspended license.

Dep. Saunders observed an open alcoholic beverage container in the vehicle and suspected the driver, William Joseph Fields, 39, of driving under the influence. Fields refused tests to determine his potential intoxication level, but Dep. Saunders was told that the driver was under the influence of prescription drugs. During the investigation, Fields turned disorderly.

When a female passenger, Jerrica Mink, 39, stepped out of the vehicle, a pill bottle was visibly tucked about her chest area. Another passenger, Michael Wright, 59, stated that the bottle contained marijuana and claimed ownership of the marijuana.

A search of the vehicle revealed a black case containing weighing scales, empty baggies and a straw. A fourth person, Cecil Ray Griffith, 49, was found to have a pill in his possession.

Wright was cited for possession of marijuana. All others were arrested and transported to the Whitley County Detention Center. Prior to leaving the jail, Dep. Saunders inspected the rear area of his cruiser. In it, he located an empty Altoids can.

A female deputy jailer located within a body cavity of Mink’s several plastic baggies containing what’s believed to be crystal methamphetamine. The located baggies matched those found within the vehicle.

Arrested were:

William Joseph Fields, 39, for trafficking in a controlled substance (meth – greater than two grams), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), second offense DUI, operating on a suspended/revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree disorderly conduct and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle

Jerrica Lynn Mink, 39, for trafficking in a controlled substance (meth – greater than two grams), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), tampering with physical evidence, first-degree promoting contraband and possession of drug paraphernalia

Cecil Ray Griffith, 49, for third-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Deputy Saunders was assisted by deputies Brian Hensley, Johnny Miller and Sergeant Jeff Anderson.

Stolen truck recovered, 4 arrested

Around 4:30 p.m. June 21, 2017, deputies responded to Doc Siler Road after a concerned person said Tamera Anderson left a residence intoxicated. Responding to the call, Deputy Brian Hensley noticed a vehicle in a wooded area off the main roadway. In a black Chevrolet truck, Dep. Hensley came into contact with Anderson and three others.
Upon contact, Dep. Hensley noticed Wendell Malone was holding a tin can and needle cap in his lap. Due to suspected drug activity, all four were detained. Deputy Jeff Anderson and Deputy Johnny Miller responded to assist.
Whitley County E911 indicated the license plate was registered to a truck reported stolen from Knox County. Prior to releasing the truck to its owner, deputies searched it. Located were several needles, non-narcotic pain medication and a small bag containing what’s believed to be crystal methamphetamine. Written on the steering wheel was, “Drive it like you stole it.” The owner stated that the writing was not present prior to the theft.
At the time the truck was stolen, it contained assorted power and hand tools associated with construction work. The tools and a pressure washer were missing when the truck was recovered. Anybody with information about the following persons recently selling or trading such items is asked to call Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017. Dep. Hensley is continuing the investigation.
Arrested were:
Tamera Anderson, 43, for first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), receiving stolen property valued under $10,000, alcohol intoxication in a public place and three counts of failure to appear
Wendell Farris Malone, 43, for first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, receiving stolen property valued under $10,000 and public intoxication
Douglas Boyd Malone, 45, for first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, receiving stolen property valued under $10,000, illegal possession of a legend drug, public intoxication and two counts of failure to appear
Cheryl Musick, 49, for first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, receiving stolen property valued under $10,000 and public intoxication
All were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Deputies involved in June 10 wreck

Around 3:40 p.m. June 10, 2017, two sheriff deputies sustained minor injuries during a motor vehicle collision. The wreck occurred on New Zion Church Road as deputies Saunders and Rhodes were responding to an emergency call. The cruiser sustained front-end damage. A female passenger in the other vehicle was treated for injuries.
Williamsburg Police Department investigated the wreck and determined the civilian truck crossed into the deputy’s lane. The driver of the truck was cited for failure to wear seatbelts, no insurance, failure to transfer registration and no registration plate.
“Deputies put on thousands of miles each month. Right now, car wrecks are the second leading cause of law enforcement deaths in America, second to gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. We are thankful that nobody was seriously injured, and it would be greatly appreciated if you’d keep all law enforcement officers in your thoughts and prayers.” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell

Complaint of gunfire leads to meth-related arrest

Around 5 p.m. May 6, 2017, Deputy Jonas Saunders was dispatched to Bambi Court. There, a man was allegedly outside shooting a pistol into the air.
Dep. Saunders located the man inside a residence. No pistol was located, but Justin S. Seeley, 21, of Corbin, did have an active warrant for his arrest. While arresting Seeley, Dep. Saunders located brass knuckles in one of Seeley’s shorts pockets.
During transport, Dep. Saunders noticed that Seeley was acting suspicious in he back of the cruiser. Dep. Saunders stopped and questioned Seeley. Inside one of Seeley’s shoes were two small plastic bags containing what’s believed to be crystal methamphetamine.
Seeley was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center and is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance and carrying a concealed weapon. Lieutenant-Detective Derek Eubanks assisted.

Vehicle located in Laurel Lake

Around 11 a.m. May 2, 2017, Sheriff Colan Harrell and Chief Deputy Tim Baker responded to the Hightop Boat Ramp after a silver SUV was spotted floating in Laurel Lake.

The 2013 Buick Enclave was unoccupied and was approximately 30 feet into the lake from the end of the ramp.

Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses and members of the Woodbine Fire Department also responded. The sheriff’s dept. is continuing the investigation.

Deputies rescue teacher caught in flood waters

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department is thankful that deputies were able to rescue a local teacher from flood waters without any injuries. Around 8:32 a.m. April 26, 2017, Whitley Co. E911 received a call from a female who had driven into a flooded portion of Hwy 11 in Knox Co. The driver, Monica Manning, of Williamsburg, rounded a curve and did not have time to react before her Dodge SUV entered the water.

Manning remained on the phone with dispatcher while. Sergeant Todd Shelley Detective John Hill, Whitley Co. Emergency Management Director Danny Moses and members of the Woodbine and Patterson Creek fire departments responded.

Sgt. Shelley was connected to a rope and entered the moving waters. By the time he reached Manning, water had risen in the SUV up to the seats. She was removed from the vehicle, and he carried her over his shoulder through the cold water.

The roadway was not barricaded and closed off. This incident serves as an example of how important it is that drivers make proper authorities aware of potential dangers.

“The way the fire departments, EM Director Danny Moses, Sergeant Shelley and Detective Hill worked together is really commendable. The situation could’ve been a lot worse.” – Sheriff Colan J. Harrell

Vehicle complaint leads to pursuit, meth-related arrests

Around 6:20 p.m., April 24, 2017, deputies James Fox and Jonas Saunders responded to the Slusher Cemetery Road area. Residents had complained about a red Ford Mustang convertible in that area, and Whitley County E911 had recently received a call on a vehicle matching that description.

As the deputies approached, the car took off down a dirt road turned muddy due to recent rains. The deputies pursued the vehicle on foot and located it stuck in mud. The passenger scuffled with the deputies and had to be subdued by an electronic control device.The license plate on the convertible was reportedly registered to a van. In the driver’s side floor board was a bottle and in the console area were numerous items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. Among the items were plastic tubing, drain cleaner, what’s believed to be ammonium nitrate, salt and other items.

The driver, Bryan Ray Kidd, 30, of Corbin, was arrested and charged with first-degree fleeing or evading (motor vehicle), manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of meth precursors, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper and no registration and failure to maintain insurance.

The passenger, David L. Miller, 40, of Corbin, was arrested for manufacturing meth, possession of meth precursors and resisting arrest.

Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations (DESI) responded to safely secure and dispose of the suspected active one-step meth lab found within the vehicle.

 

Motorist assist leads to meth-related arrests

Around 11:30 p.m. April 17, 2017, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling in the Goldbug community when he saw a man near a black Ford Mustang parked outside of a closed service station. Dep. Saunders stopped to offer assistance.
The driver, Eric M. McKiddy, 32, of Williamsburg, refused commands while Dep. Saunders attempted to verify that the vehicle met legal requirements for operations and that McKiddy and his passenger were not wanted for arrest.
McKiddy was detained after repeated orders to not reach into his pockets. He admitted to having a needle in on of his pants pockets. Dep. Saunders received assistance from Williamsburg Police Department K9 Officer Elijah Hunter. His K9 partner indicated the presence of unlawful items inside the car. A search revealed a cigarette box containing what’s believed to be approximately five grams of crystal methamphetamine. Also located in the car, including in the passenger seat area, were pills.
Dep. Saunders arrested McKiddy and charged him with trafficking in methamphetamine (greater than 2 grams), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), second-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The passenger, Holly A. Mills, 33, of Flat Lick, Kentucky, was arrested by Deputy James Tabor. She was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mills was also charged with first-degree promoting contraband after a female deputy jailer found on her a controlled substance.

Body found, death investigation underway

Around 9:19 a.m. April 17, 2017, a local resident contacted Whitley County E911 after finding what appeared to be human remains in the Clear Fork River. Sheriff Colan J. Harrell, Chief Deputy Tim Baker and Whitley Co. Coroner Andy Croley responded. They were assisted by members of the Woodbine and South Whitley Fire departments.

The remains will be sent to Frankfort for an autopsy. The sheriff’s department has an active missing persons investigation that stemmed from a complaint near the area where the body was found. However, there is not enough information to connect the missing person investigation with the discovery of these remains.

More information will be released when appropriate. Anyone with information relevant to the investigation(s) is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department during business hours at (606) 549-6006 or Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017. In case of emergency, always dial 911.