Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Help sought identifying suspect in car theft

The sheriff’s department is investigating the theft of a 2002 black Jeep Liberty that occurred around 7:40 a.m. January 13, 2017 at the Friendly Food Mart in the Woodbine community. The sheriff’s department is seeking to identify the man in these photos.

Anybody who may be able to identify this man or has knowledge about the vehicle theft is asked to call Whitley County E911 at (606) 549-6017. Sergeant Todd Shelley is leading the investigation. He was assisted by Detective John Hill.

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Foot Pursuit leads to Felony Arrest and Drug Possession.

On 01-10-2017 around 10:30 PM, K-9 Deputy Brian Hensley and Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to 206 Henry Barton Road to Execute a felony warrant on a Ryan P. Mason 26 0f Williamsburg. Once deputies entered the residence, Ryan Mason ran to the back bathroom and locked himself inside. As Deputies reached the bathroom, they could hear Ryan Mason jumping out the window in an attempt to flee from them. Both Deputies ran outside of the residence and proceeded to chase Ryan Mason down the road to where the caught up with him behind the neighbors residence. Ryan Mason then started kicking at the deputies and trying to get away, but the deputies were able to restrain him and effectively make the arrest. Upon searching Ryan Mason, Deputies located a metal container that contained a small orange pill believed to be Suboxon.

Ryan Mason was charged with Fleeing or Evading Police on Foot 2nd degree, Resisting Arrest, Possession Controlled Substance 3rd, Prescription Controlled Substance not in Proper Container, and a Felony Circuit Warrant for Failure to Appear.

Owner of stolen car & accused thief both arrested after investigation

Around 1:30 a.m. January 8, 2017, K9 Deputy Brian Hensley responded to a report that a car had been stolen at gun point from a residence along Hwy 904. Whitley County E911 provided Dep. Hensley with a description of the vehicle. While Dep. Hensley was en route to where the theft occurred, he passed what appeared to be the stolen 2001 Ford Mustang.

The Mustang, which was traveling in the opposite direction, accelerated. Dep. Hensley lost site of the vehicle but believed may have turned onto Yaden Cemetery Road. Dep. Hensley located the vehicle behind a garage along that road. In the vehicle was 23-year-old Ethan S. Powers.

Powers was taken into custody with a fanny pack around his waist, which contained pills believed to be Clonazepam. In Powers’ possession was over $450 in cash, plastic baggies and a set of digital weighing scales.

Powers was arrested and charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, receiving stolen property under $10,000, third-degree possession of a controlled substances, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, giving an officer a false name or address, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and warrants for non payment of fines and failure to appear.

The Mustang’s owner, 33-year-old Orlando Luna, was asked to look through the car to determine if anything was missing. In the car were two cell phones, which Luna told Dep. Hensley were his. It was later determined that Luna took the iPhone knowing it was not his but belonged to Powers.

Luna was found to be in possession of a small quantity of pills believed to be Clonazepam and a needle. He was arrested and charged with attempted theft by unlawful taking over $500, third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Powers and Luna were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Dep. Hensley was assisted by Dep. James Tabor and Williamsburg Police Department Officer Cody Jeffries.

Deputies work multiple wrecks, January 6

1wreck1 1wreck2The sheriff’s department responded to multiple wrecks and reports of stuck vehicles blocking roadways on January 6, 2017. Wrecks occurred from Corbin to near Tennessee on I-75.

Around 12 p.m., Chief Deputy Tim Baker responded to a single vehicle wreck on I-75 near the 6 mile point. The female driver from Ohio was the only occupant and was transported by Whitley County EMS with complaints of head pain.

Later, Detective John Hill had to respond to the same portion of I-75 for another wreck. A white sedan lost control on the bridge where I-75 crosses over Little Cane Creek Road. The female driver was transported by Whitley Co. EMS with complaints of various pain.

Around 8 a.m., Det. Hill and Sergeant Todd Shelley responded to Corinth Cemetery Road, where three vehicles were wrecked or stuck.

Vehicles have wrecked or become stuck across the county due to hazardous road conditions. Conditions are expected to worsen overnight due to temperatures lowering and causing earlier snow melt to freeze. Please use extra caution approaching areas where water is known to flow over or pool on roadways. They are highly susceptible to black ice. Also, please remember that bridges freeze faster. Non-essential travel is discouraged. We hope everybody stays safe, but deputies and other first responders will always be ready to assist in times of need.

Complaint leads to drug trafficking arrest

1-jonasAround 11:30 p.m. January 3, 2017, sheriff’s deputies were advised that an employee of Williamsburg Plastics was offering to sell drugs to his co-workers. Deputy Jonas Saunders arrived and made contact with the described individual, 49-year-old John E, Combs of Williamsburg.

In Combs’ jacket were 5 baggies containing what’s believe to be methamphetamine. Williamsburg K9 Officer Elijah Hunter and sheriff’s department Lieutenant Dennis Foley responded. Officer Hunter’s K9 partner alerted to the presence of drugs in Combs’ truck, which was parked outside of the factory. No unlawful substances were found within the truck.

The Chevrolet pickup was seized along with some cash. Combs was arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance (meth).