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