Law enforcement made multiple drug arrests starting on Wednesday with possibly more to come after the grand jury handed down a number of indictments for assorted drug charges stemming from investigations conducted by Operation UNITE.
According to Harlan City Police Chief Mike Thomas, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 indictments were handed down.
“A handful have been arrested by us and some other agencies have picked up a few,” said Thomas. “The arrests stem from investigations by Operation Unite that have been conducted over the past year.”
Thomas said police have a list of the individuals named in the indictments.
“We’re picking them up as we come across them,” said Thomas.
According to Thomas, this was not a large “drug roundup” involving multiple agencies coordinating at one time.
A press release from Cumberland City Police Department states their officers picked up nine individuals on charges including first- and second-degree trafficking a controlled substance, trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and persistent felony offender.
According to the release, Frank Lee Jr., 29, of Cumberland, received additional charges after he ran from police when they attempted to take him into custody. Lee ran out of the front door of the house he was in with Sgt. Cody Williamson and Officer Tyler Hensley giving chase. When Williamson and Hensley caught up to him, Lee became combative, striking both Williamson and Hensley. Officers from Cumberland and Lynch police departments and the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office assisted in detaining Lee.
Lee was charged with first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, persistent felony offender, third-degree assault on a police officer, second-degree fleeing and evading and resisting arrest.
The following individuals were charged with trafficking a controlled substance and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center:
Connie L. Back, 47, of Cumberland; Ricky Bingham, 33, of Baxter; Letta Jade Halcomb, 21, of Cumberland; Terry Ingram, 30, of Cumberland (also charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance); Jonathan Dewayne Baldwin, 27, of Cumberland (also charged with trafficking in marijuana and persistent felony offender II); Johnny Ray Jenkins, 58, of Partridge; David Ray McQueen, 51, of Cumberland; Kathy Clara Rice, 30, of Harlan; Bobby Vaughan, 45, of Harlan, (two counts); and Jared Allen Wiggenton, 30, of Cumberland.
Also arrested and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center were:
• Charles Anthony Hubbard, 43, of Cumberland, trafficking a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school;
• Kenneth L. Hopkins, 50, of Baxter, two counts first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking a controlled substance, first- and second-degree persistent felony offender and selling or transferring a simulated controlled substance.
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde