Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

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.

One airlifted after motorcycle wreck

On Friday April 14, 2017, Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to Hwy 1064 after a motorcycle struck an SUV, resulting in the SUV driving into a ditch and the motorcycle operator being ejected.
The motorcycle operator, Herschell S. Sullivan, 26, was not wearing a helmet. Whitley County EMS transported Sullivan to a landing zone in the Woodbine community, from where he was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. As of 11 a.m. Saturday, April 15, UT’s medical center considered him to be in critical but stable condition. Nobody in the SUV reported any injuries as a result of the collision.
The wreck reportedly occurred when Sullivan attempted to pass another vehicle and struck the SUV head-on. He will be cited for traffic violations, and additional charges may be filed.
Dep. Saunders is continuing the investigation. He was assisted at the scene by Dep. Joe Prewitt, Kentucky State Police Trooper Aaron Peace and the Woodbine Volunteer Fire Department.

Single vehicle fatal wreck – March 23, 2017

The sheriff’s department regrets to confirm a single vehicle crash resulted in the death of a Golden’s Creek community resident. Glen Gentry, 76, was the only occupant of a 2002 GMC Sierra truck, which overturned along Rock Springs Road near the Mulberry community.

Detective John Hill was dispatched to the scene around 2:30 p.m. March 23, 2017. Members of the Patterson Creek Fire Department, Whitley County EMS and Whitley Co. Coroner Andy Croley also responded. Neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected to be factors.

Please join the sheriff’s department in keeping Gentry’s family and friends in your thoughts or prayers.

Pursuit ends in meth-related arrest

Around 2 a.m. March 15, 2017, K9 Deputy Brian Hensley was providing extra patrol in the area of Corinth Road south of Corbin due to complaints of drug activity.

Dep. Hensley attempted to stop a red Chevrolet Corvette, which speeded off and turned onto Bacon Creek Road. In pursuit of the car, Dep. Hensley reached speeds in excess of 90 miles-per-hour. The Corvette eventually stopped on Bacon Creek Road, and Dep. Hensley made contact with Billy J. Thomas, 45, of the Bee Creek community.

Whitley County E911 reported that Thomas was driving on a suspended or revoked license. Thomas was detained, and in the vehicle’s ashtray was a pipe containing residue and two pieces of a substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine.

Thomas was arrested and is charged with second-offense first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), second-degree fleeing/evading police, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license, failure to maintain insurance, and reckless driving. Thomas was also arrested for a parole violation.

WHO helps law enforcement help children

On March 9, 2017, Sheriff Colan Harrell accepted a donation of over 70 hand-sewn stuffed toys from Women Helping Others (WHO) in Corbin. The toys were donated to help sheriff deputies provide comfort to children who are victims of abuse or being removed from an unsafe environment.

Sheriff Harrell also accepted on behalf of the department 100 bags so that affected children have something of quality in which to pack personal items before being relocated. Sadly, some children leave home with their belongings packed in nothing more than plastic bags.

“In a perfect world, toys wouldn’t need to be part of the tools we keep in our cruisers. But first responders are called upon to protect, calm and comfort. There’s no doubt this generous act of kindness will have a positive effect on the lives of children who really need to know someone cares about them. Thank you to Women Helping Others and also the Busy Bee Homemaker’s Club.” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell