Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Vehicle pursuit, suspected meth seized

Around 1:30 a.m. May 4, 2018, Deputy Brian Hensley was patrolling in the Savoy area and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a red Chevrolet Camaro. Upon activating his blue lights, the car sped up.

The pursuit turned onto a gravel road connecting Savoy Road and R.D. Rains Road, reaching approximately 50 miles per hour. The pursuit came to a sliding stop with one male exiting from the passenger door.

A short foot pursuit ensued, and without further incident, Dep. Hensley apprehended Samuel S. McFarland, 26, of Williamsburg.

Williamsburg Police Officer Elijah Hunter and his K9 partner assisted in the investigation. The K9 alerted to the presence of drugs. Found behind the driver’s seat was a bag containing what’s believed to be crystal methamphetamine, a glass pipe associated with smoking meth and a pill believed to be hydrocodone. McFarland also showed signs of intoxication.

McFarland was charged with two counts of first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree fleeing or evading police (vehicle), second-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), reckless driving, first-degree wanton endangerment (of a peace officer), possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI.

One arrested after toddler believed to have ingested drugs

Around 9:30 p.m. May 2, 2018, the sheriff’s department received information that a woman was laying unresponsive along Savoy Road. Whitley County E911 reported a second call believed to be involving the same woman and a two-year-old.

Deputies were in the Bee Creek area attempting to locate a person wanted on a felony arrest warrent and requested the assistance of the Williamsburg Police Department. Williamsburg Captain Eddie Cain and Detective Bobby Freeman responded until deputies Brandon Prewitt, Brian Hensley and Jonas Saunders could arrive.

Prior to law enforcement arrival, a man was able to bring the woman inside his home while others cared for the toddler. Linda Carr, 50, of R.D. Rains Road was found to show signs of impairment. The toddler, which had been in her care, was very disoriented and showed signs that suggested the toddler may have ingested drugs or a poisonous substance.

Whitley Co. EMS responded and transported the toddler to Baptist Health Corbin. A physician told Dep. Prewitt he believed the toddler had ingested a prescription drug.

Carr was searched, and on her person were needles, Suboxone strips, and inside her bra was a bottle of pills containing what’s believed to be clonazepam. Also located was a label from a prescription of gabapentin, which was not located.

Dep. Prewitt transported Carr to the hospital. After being medically cleared, she was lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center. Carr is charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12-years-old, public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also served with a warrant for non-payment of fines.

The toddler was expected to fully recover. Dep. Prewitt is continuing the investigation.

Fugitives arrested, suspected meth and cash seized

Around midnight April 26, 2018, Deputy Brian Hensley and Lieutenant Dennis Foley went to a Taylor Circle residence just outside Williamsburg in an attempt to locate 34-year-old Ashley Lay. She had one warrant issued in Laurel County and three warrants issued in Whitley County. One of the Whitley Co. warrants was for failure to appear for a jury trial, which made her a fugitive.
Upon arriving at the residence, Dep. Hensley observed Lay through a window. Upon announcing the presence of the sheriff’s department, Lay ran. Dep. Hensley forced entry. A man and a female were located in the kitchen.
Lt. Foley forced entry through a second door and located 34-year-old Thomas Schenck in a bathroom. Dep. Hensley located Lay in a bedroom closet.
During the search of the residence, deputies found within a bedroom a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, weighing scales, bags containing approximately four grams of what’s believed to be crystal “ice” methamphetamine, needles, over 100 plastic bags consistent with drug trafficking and over $450 in cash.
The man located in the kitchen, 34-year-old Thomas J. Croley, was determined to be a fugitive wanted for arrest by Texas authorities. The female in the kitchen was identified but had no known warrants for her arrest.
Lay was arrested on four warrants. She was also charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, second-degree fleeing or evading police, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.
Croley was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from another state. Schenck was arrested and charged with second-degree fleeing or evading police and hindering apprehension.
All were lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center. Dep. Jonas Saunders assisted, and Dep. Hensley is continuing the investigation.

Joint effort results in burglary arrest

Around 10 p.m. April 16, 2018, a Watts Creek Road resident called Whitley County E911 stating that he caught a man in one of his vehicles. The caller pursued the man and stated he entered Watson Chapel by breaking a window.

Deputies Jonas Saunders and Joe Prewitt responded. Williamsburg K9 Officer Elijah Hunter also responded and began tracking the suspect. The caller identified the suspected and provided a physical description.

While the K9 was tracking and the church grounds were being searched, Williamsburg officers located Thomas M. Helbig, 29, in a Cumberland Heights apartment. Located within the apartment was discarded clothing matching the caller’s description. In addition to the broken window, damage was done to the door to the fellowship hall.

Dep. Saunders arrested Helbig and charged him with two counts of second-degree burglary, the attempted theft by unlawful taking of property valued over $500 but under $10,000, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Helbig was also served with an arrest warrant for failure to appear. He was lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center.

Pursuit, approximately one pound of suspected meth seized

On April 15, 2018, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling in the area of Cumberland Falls Highway and Fifth Street in Corbin when he attempted to make contact with a male believed to have an active warrant for his arrest.
When Dep. Saunders pulled up to the car in a gas station parking lot, the driver reversed and fled the parking lot at a high rate of speed. Dep. Saunders pursued the vehicle along Fifth Street and observed a bag be thrown out of the passenger side window.
The pursuit ended when the vehicle wrecked near the entrance to the Tattersall community. When Dep. Saunders exited his cruiser, he observed an item be thrown from the driver’s side window, which was identified as a 9 millimeter pistol.
Taken into custody was the driver, Brandon E. Cole, 29, of Williamsburg and the passenger, William M. Mitchell, 27, of Corbin.
When the discarded bag was located, it contained a large amount of a crystal substance believed to be “ice” methamphetamine. The quantity was so large that Dep. Saunders could not weigh it using the scales carried in his cruiser. The bag was eventually weighed and reported to be over one pound, which is estimated to have a street value of over $70,000.
Located with the large bag was a bank-style bag containing over $7,000. Located in the vehicle’s center console were smaller bags containing what’s believed to be meth and needles.
Whitley County EMS responded to evaluate Cole and Mitchell. Dep. Saunders was assisted by Dep. Mike Lawson, Court Security Officer Donnie Witt and several Corbin Police Department officers.
Cole was charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, third-degree possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving.
Mitchell was charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia  third-degree possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence
Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Dep. Saunders is continuing the investigation, and the cases will be presented to a Whitley Co. Grand Jury.