Police in Letcher County are expressing concern over the appearance of heroin and other hard drugs not common to the area.
Two Florida residents were arrested in Whitesburg April 19 after admitting to police they were high on heroin. Those arrests came a week after a Mayking man told Lt. Brian Damron of the sheriff ’s department that he was coming off of a heroin high when he was arrested for terroristic threatening and public intoxication.
Damron said police are starting to see drugs trickle into the county that they don’t normally encounter during drug investigations.
“Ten years ago OxyContin wasn’t a problem,” said Damron. “Ten weeks ago we never had conversations about heroin. It’s reality that this stuff is here and we are doing everything we can to find out where it is.”
Damron said heroin, a highly addictive painkiller derived from morphine, is a cheaper way for drug addicts to achieve a high than by abusing prescription pain pills such as OxyContin.
Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb arrested the two Florida residents after stopping their 1996 Ford Mustang in traffic on Monday afterafter a citizen called the sheriff ’s department and notified police that drugs, weapons and money could be found in the vehicle, which had been at the Parkway Motel. Sheriff Webb drove to the motel and saw two people matching a description he was given get into the Mustang. Webb then followed the vehicle to the Whitesburg Bypass and stopped it near the old Whitesburg High School
A search of the vehicle by Webb and Sgt. Jason Bates turned up more than $1,000 cash, a .22 automatic handgun and several types of controlled substances hidden behind the left taillight of the Mustang. Damron said both men in the vehicle admitted to being high on heroin. Police also found what they called a “heroin kit” containing a shoelace, syringes and an aluminum can.
The driver of the Mustang, Leonard Dockery, 46, of 7743 Grady Drive, Fort Myers, Fla., was charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, driving under the influence, second-degree possession of controlled substance and illegal possession of a legend drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dockery’s passenger, 38-year-old Sheerley Silva of 7761 McDaniel Drive, North Fort Myers, Fla., was also charged with seconddegree possession of controlled substance and illegal possession of a legend drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.
Damron said many drug investigations conducted by the sheriff ’s department are opened after citizens call the department and provide information.
“The sheriff ’s department thinks it is a great asset to have a community that cares what is going on and we are diligently trying to address these drug problems,” said Damron. “It’s a wonderful tool to have a public that wants to help.”
Kentucky State Police Trooper Derrick Hall assisted in the case. Damron is the lead investigator.