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Grand jury will get case involving synthetic drugs



Items seized during the arrests of two Mayking store owners who are charged with selling what police believe to be synthetic marijuana and bath salts will be sent to a Kentucky State Police laboratory in Frankfort for analysis, said Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II.

The action comes after TFX owners Cheryl Nicole Vandyke, 32, and Mark Anthony Vandyke, 38, both of 70 Slope Drive, Payne Gap, waived their rights to preliminary hearings on March 22. The Vandykes were arrested March 5 and charged with one count each of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Mark Vandyke is being represented by attorney Matt Butler and Cheryl Vandyke is being represented by attorney James D. Asher. Both attorneys are from Whitesburg.

The charges against the Vandykes were referred to a Letcher County Grand Jury on March 22 after Letcher District Judge Kevin R. Mullins overruled a motion that would have allowed Cheryl Vandyke had agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of trafficking in a simulated substance, a Class A misdemeanor.

The deal had been agreed to by prosecutor Banks, attorney Asher, and Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb. As part of the plea agreement, Cheryl Vandyke would have received 90 days in jail to be probated for two years. She wouldn’t have been able to operate any business in Letcher County that sold the types of items sold at TFX or at her residence. She would also have been required to forfeit $10,000 cash she recently posted as bond for TFX manager Keith Maschino, 36, of 2 South Abdoo Street, Neon.

Maschino had admitted to police that he uses bath salts and told officers the synthetic stimulant gives him a high that lasts all day. Maschino, who is being represented by public defender Bill Melton, also waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The charges against him have also been referred to the grand jury.

Maschino was arrested Feb. 29 after police saw him get out of a vehicle with a black safety box in his hand. Maschino was arrested and charged with possession for sale/transfer simulated controlled substance and second-degree fleeing or evading police. According to an arrest citation, 46 packs of bath salts and two mushrooms were found inside the box.

The Vandykes are on house arrest after posting bonds of $25,000 cash each.



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