CARTER COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Investigators call it the largest pill trafficking organization in the state of Kentucky, but the stunning part for neighbors is learning who is accused of running it – a church pastor.
“I was shocked, because I live right here and I never see anyone go in or out of there,” Mike Newsome, who lives near the Holiness Tabernacle Church in Olive Hill, where Scott Gilliam, 42, was a pastor. “I did know some of the people that went to church there. They'd stop and talk to me. They were all nice folks.”
Gilliam and Brandon Logan, 28, were arrested in Lewis County on Friday and charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute.
“Tens of thousands of pills that have a street value of $40 to $45 each. So you're talking [a] multimillion dollar trafficking organization,” the lead detective of the FADE drug task force said.
Newsome said he didn’t know Gilliam. Another neighbor, who didn’t want to go on camera, said Gilliam was well known and well respected in the community.
“Nobody would ever dreamed this,” the neighbor said. “It's just unbelievable, completely.”
“[He] pastored a church while he was engaging in a major drug trafficking organization [which] is pretty heinous,” the lead detective said.
FADE detectives say they intercepted thousands of pills from this ring, over the course of an investigation that spanned a year and a half and several states. The investigation was referred to as “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”
“Large quantity of pain pills. Oxycodone 30-milligram tablets from inside the church,” the lead detective said. “It was a room that was located toward the rear of the church that was like a children's playroom. Pills were concealed inside the wall.”
Detectives say this is a major win for drug enforcement, as they believe tens of thousands of pills were coming into our region each week.
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