Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Ohio fugitive arrested

Around 5 p.m. October 10, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders was patrolling southern Whitley County and received a report of suspicious activity near the Fast Trax gas station. Dep. Saunders stopped to speak to a man walking along US Hwy 25W. The man, Jason Johnson, 31, of Jellico, was determined to be wanted for arrest on a Whitley County warrant.

Upon further investigation, Johnson was found to have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (“NCIC”) as wanted for arrest by Ohio authorities. Whitley Co. E911 dispatchers confirmed Johnson was wanted by Ohio’s Shelby County Sheriff’s Department for a sex offender registration violation. Johnson was arrested and lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Ceter.

Tip leads to meth lab discovery, arrest

Around 5 p.m. September 3, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders received information that a meth lab may be located at a Hwy 25S residence near the Emlyn community. Dep. Saunders made contact with 32-year-old Robert C. Trabish at that residence.

While looking around the residence, Dep. Saunders saw in plain view what appeared to be a one-step methamphetamine lab. Inside the residence were multiple items associated with the manufacture of meth, including drain cleaner and lantern fuel.

Tabish was arrested and is charged with first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine. He was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement Special Investigations (“DESI”) responded to the scene to take control of and safely dispose the meth lab. Dep. Saunders was also assisted by Detective Derek Eubanks.

Tip of 3 passed out persons leads to arrests

Arrest

Around 9 p.m. June 7, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to the Friendly Mart in the Woodbine community. According to a phoned in tip to Whitley County E911, three people appeared passed out inside a gold Chevrolet Cavalier. Dep. Saunders located the vehicle. The three occupants, two men and one woman, were not alert.

The female, who was in the rear passenger area, could not be awakened and was transported by Whitley Co. EMS to Baptist Health Corbin. The driver, Brian T. Smith, 34, of Russell Springs, and the front seat passenger, Harold Smith, 68, of Bimble,, were awakened and questioned.

A search of the vehicle revealed pills believed to be Xanax in the center console. Also in the vehicle were other prescription drugs, including Suboxone films.

The driver, Brian Smith, was searched, and in one of his pockets was a bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. During the investigation, deputies received information that two men appeared to be selling drugs in the store’s parking lot. Brian and Harold Smith had in their possession $557 in cash.

Harold Smith was arrested and is charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and public intoxication. Brian Smith was arrested and is charged with operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, trafficking in a legend drug, possession of marijuana and DUI.

Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Dep. James Fox assisted in the investigation.

Tip leads to 4 arrests, 3 with active arrest warrants

Around 7 p.m. May 3, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to a Davenport Lane residence following an anonymous tip suggesting that a person there was wanted for arrest. Upon his arrival, multiple persons ran from the residence.

After a short foot pursuit, Dep. Saunders located Daniel Lee Jones, 30, inside a neighboring property’s barn. Jones appeared to be trying to conceal evidence and later a baggie containing a substance believed to be marijuana was found in his possession. Located in a nearby wooded area was 58-year-old Loren Dean Johnson. Arrested at the residence pursuant to warrants were Melvin T. Hill, 28, and Heather Nicole Bowlin, 28.

Jones was arrested and is charged with second-degree fleeing or evading police, third-degree burglary, possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence. Jones was also served with three arrest warrants out of Whitley County.

Johnson was arrested and is charged with second-degree fleeing or evading police, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), promoting contraband and alcohol intoxication. Inside the Whitley Co. Detention Center, Johnson was searched by a deputy jailer, and in his knee brace was a plastic baggie containing a substance believed to be “ice” methamphetamine.

Dep. Saunders was assisted by Dep. Joe Prewitt and Kentucky State Police Trooper Duane Foley.

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Traffic stop results in two arrests

On April 17, 2016, Sergeant Kirk Mays observed a black Ford truck swerving out of its lane of travel. Sgt. Mays stopped the vehicle near G& E Drive In along Hwy 25. The driver, Johnny Johnson, 38, of Williamsburg could not complete field sobriety tests and was determined to be driving on a DUI suspended license. Johnson was arrested by Sgt. Mays and charged with DUI, driving on DUI suspended license, reckless driving, having an obstructed windshield and failure to maintain insurance.

Joshua Walters, 27, of Rockholds, was a passenger in the truck and was found to have two warrants for his arrest. One warrant was issued by Knox County and the other by Whitey County officials. Upon searching Walters, Deputy Jonas Saunders located a hypodermic needle in one pants pocket and three green pills believed to be Xanax in another pocket. Walters was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also served with the two warrants.

Johnson and Walters were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Sgt. Mays and Dep. Saunders were assisted by Williamsburg Police Department K9 Officer Elijah Hunter.