Whitesburg KY

High school umps remain jailed on trafficking charges

Two Kentucky high school sports officials were still being held in the Letcher County Jail on felony drug charges late Tuesday, four days after they were arrested at their homes and charged with trafficking in the painkiller oxycodone.

Joseph Jay ‘J.J.’ Wright, 39, a softball and baseball umpire from McRoberts, and Tommy Hutton, 60, a state championship basketball referee and baseball and softball umpire from Fleming, were arrested around 1 p.m. on April 29. Hutton was charged with two counts of firstdegree trafficking in a controlled substance. Wright was charged with three counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school.

A criminal complaint filed by the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department says Hutton sold oxycodone, a Schedule II drug, to a witness cooperating with the sheriff ’s department on April 19 and April 28. A complaint filed against Wright says he sold oxycodone on April 12, April 14, and April 25, also to a cooperating witness. Sheriff ’s Lt. Brian Damron said Wright sold the drugs once within 1,000 yards of McRoberts Elementary School.

Damron said the arrests are the result of a month-long investigation into allegations the two men had been selling narcotics.

“We had been getting complaints that both of them were selling drugs in and around the Neon community,” said Damron. “Some of the complaints included sales being done around Little League games.”

Damron said traffic to and from Tommy Hutton’s home on Henry Hutton Drive had gotten “to the point where people couldn’t play basketball (on a neighborhood court) because they didn’t feel it was safe for their children to play.”

During the investigation, one or both suspects offered to meet with a prospective drug buyer at sporting events they were officiating, Damron said, adding that the offer was refused.

“We had to make a decision on

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