Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Second offense drug trafficking (meth) arrest

 On March 25, 2018, deputies Jason Strunk and Jonas Saunders went to a Lott Mud Creek Road residence in an attempt to serve an indictment warrant against 26-year-old Buck A. McGregor.

McGregor had been indicted on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine (greater than two ounces) and being a persistent felony offender.

While at the residence, deputies located approximately three grams of what’s believed to be crystal (“ice”) methamphetamine, digital weighing scales and plastic bags consistent with drug trafficking.

McGregor was taken into custody for his warrant and was charged by Dep. Strunk with second offense first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth) and possession of drug paraphernalia. McGregor was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Tip results in three children removed from residence

Around 10:30 a.m. March 27, 2018, Detective John Hill and Deputy Cody Harrell responded to a Reverend Gene Young Road residence in reference to a welfare check.
A citizen contacted Sheriff Colan J. Harrell with concerns that children were in danger at that location, and Sheriff Harell ordered the welfare check. Upon arrival, Det. Hill and Dep. Harrell observed generally unsanitary conditions, including what were believed to be roaches in and around food. Also, the residence had no running water.
Social services responded and determined the four, three and one-year-olds should be removed from the residence.
Heather Clark, 30, and Carlton D. Douglas, 19, were arrested and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Clark and Douglas were not parents of any child, but had been entrusted with their care.
“You hear the phrase, ‘If you see something, say something.’ Well, we do something. I’m pleased this individual felt comfortable enough to share their concern and confident that we would investigate their suspicions. Improving law enforcement and community connections has been a focus of mine, and here you can only imagine what it would be like with children of that age in a place without water hadn’t been protected by a concerned citizen.” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell

Man arrested in pipe wielding assault

On March 25, 2018, Deputy Jonas Saunders was providing extra patrol in the Kensee Hollow area, where he encountered Michael J. Leach, 30. Dep. Saunders knew Leach to be wanted in connection to an assault that occurred at a MacKayla Circle residence.

Dep. Brandon Prewitt had responded to the assault several days earlier and found an adult male with. serious injuries to his face and head. According to witnesses, Leach and the victim were engaged in a fist fight until Leach obtained a metal pipe, which he used against the victim.

Whitley County EMS responded, and the South Whitley Fire Department assisted in setting up a landing zone at Boston Elementary. The victim was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The victim has since been released.

Leach fled the scene by vehicle prior to Dep. Prewitt’s arrival. Dep. Prewitt obtained a warrant for Leach’s arrest. Following Dep. Saunders’ traffic stop, Leach is now lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center.

Public help requested – Old Barton School Rd. burglary

The sheriff’s department is seeking the public’s help identifying the man in these photos.
On March 21, 2018, Deputy Brandon Prewitt responded to a burglary complaint at an Old Barton School Road residence, located off Fifth Street outside of Corbin.
The burglary occurred around 9:15 a.m. and one photo shows the perpetrator exiting with a 42″ LG brand flat screen TV. He also has a bottle of liquor in his left elbow. Additional property was taken.
The man shown in these photographs entered the passenger side of a white Chevrolet Impala with black wheels. The car left the residence in the direction of Fifth Street.
Anybody who can identify this man or with information of the crime should contact Whitley County E911 at (606) 549-6017. In case of emergency, always dial 911. Dep. Prewitt is continuing the investigation. Tips can remain anonymous.  

Drug possession in judicial center results in arrest

Around 11:30 a.m. March 19, 2018, Court Security Officer Chris Brown observed a man enter the Whitley County Judicial Center while continuing to smoke a cigarette. CSO Russell Strunk advised Michael David Young, 34, of Corbin, that tobacco was not permitted within the building.
Young left the building, went to an area where there were shrubs, and then re-entered for his appearance in circuit court. CSO Brown and Strunk went outside to where Young had walked. Within the shrubbery was a hypodermic needle containing a clear liquid.
Circuit Court Judge Paul K. Winchester was notified of the incident, and Young was ordered to take a drug test. While in a holding cell, Young was searched. CSO Brown found on Young’s person a small flashlight. In it was a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
Young was questioned about the needle found outside and admitted it had belonged to him. He appeared under the influence and admitted to using drugs. After Young failed to produce a urine sample, Judge Winchester sentenced him to six months of incarceration.
Young now faces new charges by the sheriff’s department: possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication. CSOs also determined Young was wanted for arrest due to charges in Laurel County.
Young was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center, and the investigation is continuing.
“Court Security Officers are on the frontline of protecting and maintaining order in and around the judicial center. What they do isn’t always as ‘newsworthy’ as other sheriff’s department activities, but their work is praiseworthy. Please join me in recognizing our CSOs for their work.” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell