Whitesburg KY
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First black tar heroin arrests made here



Two Ohioans were arrested by the Whitesburg Police Department for being in possession of black tar heroin, an illegal narcotic that police say isn’t a common drug in Letcher County.

Two WPD officers pulled over an outof state vehicle on the Whitesburg bypass around 4 a.m. on June 4 after the officers observed the vehicle swerve past yellow lines on the road. The car was also following too close to the car traveling in front of it, said WPD Officer Justin Hunsaker.

The driver told police she had met a man on the Internet and was on her way to meet him for the second time. She said that the man had asked her to bring his father and a woman with her, Hunsaker said.

The woman, whom police did not identify, had driven all the way from Dayton, Ohio to Whitesburg with Johnnie Charles Fletcher, 49, and Linda Gale Cordle, 44, traveling with her in a rental car.

“She was very nervous and we asked her to step out (of the vehicle) because she didn’t want to talk in front of them,” said Hunsaker.

The woman told police she had become scared and that was why she had swerved while driving the car.

Police ran the driver’s licenses of all three people in the car. Cordle had a warrant for a prior driving under the influence charge in Floyd County.

WPD Captain Henry Day and the department’s new drug dog, Natz, arrived on the scene and sat near the rear passenger door of the rental car.

Police found a makeup container with one- to one-and-a-half grams of black tar heroin inside a Crown Royal bag that had been placed inside a backpack. Needles, spoons and several syringes were also found, Hunsaker said.

The drug dog helped police find the heroin.

“It helped a lot,” said Hunsaker. “It’s trained really well. It’s not going to give you a false hit. It makes the search a lot quicker.”

Both admitted to possessing the heroin.

Police also found a shank Fletcher had made with a bent nail. It had a sharpened edge and was being used as a deadly weapon, Hunsaker said.

Fletcher was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

Cordle was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond was set at $500 each and both spent five days in the Letcher County Jail. For each day served they received $100 bail credit. Cordle and Fletcher were released from jail after serving five days.

Hunsaker, Day and WPD Officer Josh Richardson assisted in the case.

Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb said he has dealt with cases involving other types of heroin in Letcher County, but not black tar heroin, which actually has a “greater mixture of lesser acetylated morphine derivatives” than actual heroin.

“I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t seen it or arrested anyone for it,” said Webb.

Lt. Brian Damron of the sheriff ’s department said officials with the Department of Criminal Justice Training know that black tar heroin is making a strong move through Kentucky.

Black tar heroin is consumed by smoking it and injecting it. Damron said a long trail of communicable diseases is associated with the drug.



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