CARTER COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 8/9/18 @ 6:45 p.m.
A mother was shocked as a man charged with trafficking drugs was arrested at her son's home and the place she used to live.
But the amount of drugs recovered shocks the investigators who made the arrest. There was enough fentanyl to kill 32,000 people, more than the entire population of Carter County, Kentucky.
The director of the Fivco Area Drug Enforcement (F.A.D.E.) Task Force was back out to the location on Sunflower Drive in Carter County, just east of Grayson along U.S. 60. He put up a sign saying, “Coming soon to a drug dealer near you.”
Clayton “Guy” Hill is now behind bars.
"It felt pretty good to take another one off the list," the F.A.D.E. director said.
Because of the nature of his job, we’re not showing his face or giving his name.
He said Hill was a man the Task Force had not been able to locate for months.
"Slippery individual,” he said.
Brenda Stamper lives two doors down on Sunflower Drive.
"It's scary too because we have little kids here," she said.
Drugs are also personal for her. Her youngest brother overdosed a decade ago and a friend's son four years ago.
"Yeah, it hurts. It hurts to think about it,” she said. “It hurts families. It tears them apart."
The Task Force closed the net shortly after midnight Wednesday. Even they are surprised with their haul, including 417 marijuana plants, six guns and 65 grams of the fentanyl, enough to kill 32,000 people.
"That's bad, that's so bad," Stamper said.
To put that number in perspective, the Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Marshall’s campus seats 38,000 people. But the average home attendance last year for a football game was 21,000, so police recovered enough fentanyl to kill everyone there with 10,000 more to spare.
Mary Ann Griffith is mother to Michael Griffith, the man who lives at the mobile home on Sunflower Drive. She said she wasn’t aware of what was happening at her former home.
"I pray for my son. I pray for all the other mothers and fathers that are going through this,” she said, choking up.
She met Hill and his mother, who is a pastor.
"Two of the nicest kindest people I ever met in my life,” she said. “I had no idea what he did. He was just like a friend."
Mary Ann said Michael has been fighting drug addiction for about two years.
"It's heartbreaking to sit there and thinking your son is dying for taking pills,” she said. “I love him. I love him as much as you, even if he's a drug dealer as if he was a doctor or lawyer."
They are words and pain echoed by Stamper.
"It's scary. It's in every family just about if you ask people," she said.
That’s why police aren't through.
This investigation dates back almost two years, since 27 people overdosed in 28 days in early 2017. F.A.D.E. says more charges and more arrests are coming.
While this bust sets a record, it may not hold for long.
"There are other individuals in the county and other surrounding counties we operate in that probably have this much illegal substances. We're well aware of that and we'll be visiting soon," said the F.A.D.E. director.
And that will soon be followed by a second visit and a sign -- even if it comes down minutes later, having been tossed aside by Griffith's granddaughter.
"Players change, game stays the same,” said the F.A.D.E. director.
The Drug Task Force said the arrest of Hill cripples another Detroit Drug Pipeline.
Hill remains in the Carter County jail Thursday night on four counts of drug trafficking, each with a bond of $75,000.
ORIGINAL STORY 8/8/18
A man from Grayson was arrested Wednesday on drug charges, members of the Fivco Area Drug Enforcement Task Force say.
Clayton “Guy” Hill faces three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. Investigators say Hill was trafficking heroin.
Hill’s arrest came after a home in the 300 block of Sunflower Drive in Grayson was searched.
Investigators say the nearly two-year investigation involving the F.A.D.E. Drug Task Force, the Olive Hill Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office helped dismantle another part of the “Detroit Drug Pipeline.”
Officers seized about 65 grams of fentanyl, nearly 2 grams of heroin, and about 435 grams of marijuana. Detectives also recovered 417 marijuana plants and several other illegal narcotics and paraphernalia.
Additionally, more than $4,000 cash, five handguns and a shotgun were seized.