A Dozen Wanted in "Operation Broken Heart" Roundup in Johnson County

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Johnson County, Kentucky Sheriff's Office held another drug roundup Thursday.

After a year-long investigation, A Johnson County Grand Jury recently indicted 12 people on more than two dozen charges including trafficking oxycodone, meth, marijuana and suboxone strips.

Sheriff Dwayne Prices calls "Operation Broken Heart", "a little surprise for 12 people this (Thursday) morning that decided they would sell drugs in our county."

It's their first roundup of the year.

The Sheriff's Office was able to pick up six of those wanted. Sheriff Price says two of the suspects are out of the county and have made arrangements to turn themselves in, another person was in an auto accident that occurred before the indictments were issued, and three others are at-large.

Since Price has been Sheriff, his office has conducted nearly a dozen roundups, with hopes to reduce overdoses in the county.

"We've paid attention to the overdoses prior to us taking over office to 2014. The overdoses are down. this has been effective for us. It's good for the county. The overdoses are down. That's the main reason we do it," Price said.

"You're not going to be able to stop all of them (overdoses), we know that. We're realistic. We understand that," Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey said.

These arrests come on the heels of several investigation done by two detectives on the streets making buys and fighting drugs.

"It's a problem here in Eastern Kentucky and here in Johnson County, and we're going to do everything we can do to try to put an end to it, or at least slow it down in our county," Chief Deputy Pelphrey said.

Sheriff Price says his office will continue to fight the drug problem in the county, even though he has had to lay off two deputies.

"Our office is dead against drugs. We don't care who are you, what side of the tracks you're from. If you're trafficking drugs in Johnson County, as long as we're here, we're going to put the heat on you," Price said.

According to Price, drug abuse is an issues that impacts everyone in the county, from loss of property to theft, to loss of life due to overdose.

Sheriff Price tells WSAZ.com that his office receives calls daily from the public thanking them for the work they've been doing, and giving them tips to make more busts. He says the public appreciates these people being in jail, so they are not out stealing from them.

"It's just something we feel that we have to do," Chief Deputy Pelphrey said.

The Sheriff's Office plans to continue these busts every month and says detectives will be hitting the streets tomorrow to make more buys that lead to more busts.

The following were wanted as part of "Operation Broken Heart":
Simon Bradley Castle
Kenneth Lash
Ashley Ralph
David Blevins
Kendra Wells
Justin Fields
Brett Boyd
Genia D. McCarty
Joshua R. Johnson
Tyler W. Runnels
Michael R. Eldridge
Haley J. Ramey

Sheriff Price says during the bust, there were able to arrest two additional people who had active warrants on them.

The sheriff asks if anyone has information about drug dealing in your neighborhood, please call his office at 606-789-3411. "We need your help to clean up drugs in Johnson County.”

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