Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Ohio fugitive arrested

Around 5 p.m. October 10, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling southern Whitley County and received a report of suspicious activity near the Fast Trax gas station. Dep. Saunders stopped to speak to a man walking along US Hwy 25W. The man, Jason Johnson, 31, of Jellico, was determined to be wanted for arrest on a Whitley County warrant.

Upon further investigation, Johnson was found to have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (“NCIC”) as wanted for arrest by Ohio authorities. Whitley Co. E911 dispatchers confirmed Johnson was wanted by Ohio’s Shelby County Sheriff’s Department for a sex offender registration violation. Johnson was arrested and lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Ceter.

Marijuana Bust on Lot Depot Road

Sheriff Colan Harrell reports that on 10-11-2016, K9-Deputy Brian Hensley, Deputy Jonas Saunders, and Deputy James Fox responded to 127 Lot Depot Road in reference to a complaint of the trafficking in narcotics.

Once the Deputies arrived at the location, two subjects took off running from them on foot toward a wooded area next to the residence. A female named Regina Raney,40 of Williamsburg was apprehended quickly before making it into the woods and her husband Carl Raney, 46 of Williamsburg was caught shortly after that in the woods. Both Regina Raney and Carl Raney were charged with Public Intoxication and Fleeing or Evading Police 2nd degree on foot.

The Deputies then made contact with the home owner and several other people inside the residence, including Billy Wilde, 31 of 127 Lot Depot Road Williamsburg Ky. and were given consent to search the residence. While Deputy Saunders was searching Billy Wilde’s bedroom, a cooler was located that contained multiple baggies of Marijuana packaged for sale. When Deputies questioned Billy Wilde about the Marijuana, he stated that he was trying to make some extra money. Also located in Billy Wilde’s bedroom was a pill container that had one half of a pill in it. Billy Wilde was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd degree, Possession of Marijuana, Trafficking in Marijuana (felony), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Meth lab found, public information requested

The sheriff’s department is asking that anybody with information about methamphetamine manufacturing in or around the 1400 block of Hwy 1804 please contact authorities.

Around 10:30 p.m. October 4, 2016, Whitley County E911 received an anonymous tip that a meth lab could be located in the woods around 1450 Hwy. 1804.

Deputy Jonas Saunders responded and found a meth lab in the woods near an abandoned car. Nobody was near the lab.

No arrests were possible, and the sheriff’s department is requesting the public’s help in the continuing investigation. Anybody with information is encouraged to call Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017. Dep. Saunders is continuing the investigation.

Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations responded to safely remove the items and properly destroy them. It was determined there were two one-step labs and three other devices used in the manufacture of meth at the location.

Cocaine suspected in two traffic stops in two days

collinsAround 5 p.m. October 3, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling in southern Whitley County. Upon stopping a vehicle near the Kentucky/Tennessee state line, Dep. Saunders learned that the driver, Heath Hickok, 30, of Williamsburg, was driving on a suspended or revoked license.
The passenger, Joseph L. Ellison, 35, of Jellico, was wanted for arrest relating to a bench warrant. When Dep. Saunders searched Ellison, he found on Ellison a small bag of a powdery substance believed to be cocaine.
Hickok was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license. Ellison was arrested and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication.
The next day, Oct. 4., Dep. Saunders was patrolling in southern Whitley Co. and noticed a black Nissan stopped along the road near the second Hwy 1804 intersection. The vehicle was occupied by three men.
Records indicated that one of the passengers, Wendel Malone, 42, of Jellico, was wanted for arrest on a bench warrant.
All three men were removed from the vehicle. Found laying on the front passenger seat was a bag containing a powdery substance believed to be cocaine. The bag was in the seat that had been occupied by Charles Collins, 45, of Williamsburg.
Malone was taken into custody pursuant to the warrant for his arrest. Collins was arrested and charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

Female wanted in trafficking in methamphetamine case apprehended

On October 1, 2016, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to a Maple Creek Road residence in reference to a trespassing complaint. Upon arrival, Dep. Hensley made contact with a female inside the residence who stated her name was Ashley Harmon but could not provide proper identification. When Dep. Hensley indicated that he believed she was providing a false name, the female fled on foot.

Dep. Hensley pursued the woman through a briar thicket and was able to apprehend her. With assistance from Whitley County E911 dispatchers and Whitley Co. Detention Center employees, the female was determined to be Tabitha Harmon, 25, of Corbin.

After learning her true identity, Dep. Hensley was notified that she had three warrants for her arrest, including one in a case for trafficking in methamphetamine. Harmon was also charged with giving an officer a false name, fleeing or evading police and resisting arrest. She was lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center.