UPDATE: Ashland Man Accused of Selling Crack Cocaine; Deputies and Prosecutors Frustrated by Re-Offenders

By: Olivia Fecteau; Lou Pickney Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; Lou Pickney Email

UPDATE 7/19/13 @ 7:00 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Deputies and prosecutors in Boyd County say they’re frustrated with dealing with the same people time after time, as inmates are released from prison on parole before their sentences are complete.

On Thursday night, Boyd County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Leron Taylor, 34, after deputies say he sold a total of two grams of crack cocaine to undercover deputies – one gram each on Wednesday and Thursday. He is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree.

This isn’t the first time Taylor has been in trouble. He was released from the Boyd County Detention Center in May after serving six months of a three-year prison sentence for selling cocaine to undercover deputies.

“The same people keep committing these crimes over and over and over,” Sheriff Terry Keelin said. “We're spending our resources to chase the same people over and over and over.”

HB 463 is a Kentucky law governing corrections and prison sentences. The goal, according to Jennifer Brislin of Kentucky’s Justice Cabinet, is to reduce the prison population in the state. The bill itself states that another goal is to keep corrections costs down. Numbers from the state show that the percentage of criminals who re-offend has gone down in the last few years.

Because of this bill, non-violent offenders are eligible for parole after serving 15 to 20 percent of their sentences. Violent offenders must still serve 85 percent before they are eligible for parole. Brislin said the law makes a distinction between “casual possessors” and “traffickers” when it comes to drugs.

But David Justice, the Commonwealth’s attorney for Boyd County, said the savings to taxpayers by releasing criminals on parole before their sentences are served does not balance the safety problems.

“While it’s always good to save taxpayers’ dollars, we have to balance the need and right of our citizens to feel safe on the streets,” Justice said. “You let people out to save money, but once they’re out on the streets, they’re breaking into homes.”

Keelin said he believes criminals keep doing the same crimes because there is no fear of the consequences as a deterrent.

"Used to be there was a fear of, you broke the law, you were convicted, you were sent to prison. Today, there's no deterrent,” Keelin said. “They’re not being sent anywhere long enough to deter anything.”

“There’s nothing that law enforcement can do about it, our hands are tied,” Justice said. “There’s nothing that the prosecutorial system can do, except ask for higher sentences, and we can only go up to what the legislature allows us.”

Keelin noted that he thinks the people selling the drugs are causing these problems.

“I have sympathy for those that are addicted to drugs. I do, I have a lot of sympathy for them, and their families,” Keelin said. “But these are the individuals who are supplying it, so these are the individuals that need to be going away for a long time."

Leron Taylor is lodged at the Boyd County jail.

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UPDATE 7/19/13 @ 6:25 a.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A man from Ashland recently released from jail is back behind bars after being arrested on drug charges.

According to the Boyd County Sheriff's Office, Leron Taylor, 34, sold a gram of crack cocaine to a member of the Drug Task Force Wednesday night and another gram to that same person Thursday night.

Taylor was then arrested, and deputies executing a search warrant reported finding drugs, drug paraphernalia, and money in his home.

He faces two felony charges of trafficking crack cocaine.

Taylor is being held in the Boyd County Jail.

Taylor was arrested by Boyd County Deputies back in November 2012 after deputies say they purchased cocaine from him at his residence in the 2900-block of Bath Avenue.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

BOYD COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three people have been arrested on drug charges following separate undercover drug buys by Boyd County Sheriff’s Deputies.

According to a news release, on Monday, a member of the department’s drug task force said he purchased heroin from Jamie Thompson, 28, at her residence in the 3400-block of Roberts Drive. During a search of the residence, deputies also arrested Leonard Gervin Jr., 28, of Cincinnati.

According to the release, Gervin Jr. was in possession of 35 grams of powered heroin with a street value of $14,000, along with an unknown amount of cash.

Both people were charged with trafficking heroin.

In a separate undercover drug buy on Wednesday, task force members arrested Leron Taylor, 33, of Ashland. Taylor was charged with trafficking cocaine.

He was arrested after officers say they purchased cocaine from him at his residence in the 2900-block of Bath Avenue.

During a search of the residence, deputies say they found a large amount of money and marijuana.

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