Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Complaint leads to meth arrests

On August 26, 2017, the sheriff’s department received a complaint of suspicious activity around a New Zion Road residence. According to the complaint, items were being removed from the home by persons wearing rubber gloves.

Upon arrival, deputies Jonas Saunders and E.J. Miller made contact with two men and two women. Coming from a bathroom was Joshua A. Abrams, 28. Upon further investigation, a bag containing needles and a substance believed to be methamphetamine was located inside the toilet within the bathroom where Abrams had exited. Also, part of a pill was located in his wallet. The other male, Michael Lawson, 27, was found to have marijuana in his possession.

Natasha Archer, 32, was searched. Concealed within her chest area was a bottle containing a substance believed to be methamphetamine and six pills believed to be hydrocodone.

A blue/gray Pontiac G6 outside the residence was searched, which resulted in the discovery of needles, digital scales and plastic baggies. Within Archer’s purse, deputies found what’s believed to be methamphetamine and a glass pipe.

Archer was charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a prescription controlled substance not in its original container.

Abrams was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), tampering with physical evidence, second degree possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lawson was arrested by Dep. Mike Lawson and charged with possession of marijuana and public intoxication.

All were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.


Burglary suspect returned to Kentucky

On August 9, 2017, Court Security Officer Donnie Witt, Jr. transported Dena Brooke Baird, 28, of Tennessee, from TN to the Whitley County Detention Center. Baird was in custody in Campbell County, TN relating to the theft of a vehicle.

In January of 2015, Baird was arrested by Whitley Co. deputies for second-degree burglary and first-degree cruelty to animals. She was indicted on those charges and also first-degree persistent felony offender. Baird is scheduled for arraignment in September relating to the indictment.

Driver in August 3 wreck succumbs to injuries

The sheriff’s department regrets to confirm that Mark Chambers, 63, of Knoxville, Tennessee succumbed to injuries sustained in an August 3, 2017 wreck.

Chambers was travelling northbound on US Hwy 25 when his car left the roadway, went airborne and crashed into an Emlyn community home. No other vehicles were involved and nobody in the home was injured. It was determined that the wreck was an accident.

Mr. Chambers was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he passed away on August 8. Please join the sheriff’s department in keeping the family and friends of Mr. Chambers in your thoughts and prayers.

Car crashes into home

Around 5:30 p.m. August 3, 2017, Sergeant Dave Lennon received information from Whitley Co. E911 that a vehicle struck a home along US Hwy 25 in the Emlyn community.

It was determined that the vehicle, driven by Mark Chambers, 63, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was travelling North on Hwy 25 when it veered off the road, crossed the Emlyn Post Office parking lot, went airborne and travelled for approximately 48 feet and struck a home.

Chambers was treated at the scene and flown from Baptist Health Corbin to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. As of August 4, UK hospital officials stated he was in critical condition. Nobody in the residence was injured.

Sgt. Lennon is continuing the investigation into this single vehicle wreck.

Intruder held at gun point, arrested for burglary and thefts

Around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, July 30, 2017, sheriff deputies responded to a Bacon Creek Road residence, where the homeowner had a female intruder held at gun point. With the assistance of three Corbin Police Department officers, deputies Brian Hensley and Jonas Saunders went to the residence, where Gabrielle Malay, 22, of Farmer’s Trail in the Corinth community had unlawfully entered the residence through a window.

Malay matched the description of a woman who abandoned a Kubota UTV after being approached by persons near the old Woodbine school. The woman walked away, and the UTV left behind was determined to have been stolen from the same Bacon Creek Road residence days prior to the burglary.

Dep. Brian Hensley had been investigating the Kubota theft, and Malay became a suspect in a separate, auto theft investigation led by Dep. Joe Prewitt. A vehicle stolen from Carter Street in the Woodbine community was found abandoned in a parking lot at Corbin’s Exit 25.

Dep. Hensley arrested and charged Malay with theft by unlawful taking over $500 relating to the UTV, second-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief. Dep. Prewitt has Malay charged with theft by unlawful taking of an automobile valued at over $10,000.

“We hope this arrest provides some comfort to residents. Deputies Hensley and Prewitt are continuing their investigations and can be contacted by calling Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017, or during business hours you can contact the sheriff’s department at (606) 549-6006. Assistance from the public and vigilant neighbors looking out for one another contributed to this arrest.” – Sheriff Colan J. Harrell