A Jeremiah man was arrested this week and charged with trafficking in the prescription painkiller oxycodone. Three other men were also arrested after a raid Monday evening on the home of Johnny Michael Mullins, 34, of 3056 KY 7 South.
Police say a search of Mullins’s home turned up an undisclosed number of 30-milligram tablets of oxycodone and other prescription pills including Xanax, an ounce of marijuana, and $3,675 in cash. Mullins is charged with first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, third- degree trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance not in a proper container, and possession of marijuana.
Lt. Brian Damron of the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department said authorities have been receiving complaints from the public about Mullins selling drugs since summer. Damron said Mullins tried to leave his home through a side window when police arrived.
“We are very much appreciative
(Continued on Page 11) to the people who called in complaints about Mullins,” said Damron.
Damron said police in Florida contacted him recently to talk about four Letcher County residents who were being held after a traffic stop there. Damron said police learned through interviewing the four that Mullins had been paying for people to visit Florida prescription “pill mills” and bring the narcotics back to Letcher County for Mullins to resale at a high rate of profit.
Letcher District Judge Kevin R. Mullins set bond for Johnny Michael Mullins at $50,000 cash. The suspect remained in the Letcher County Jail on Tuesday night.
Three other men were also arrested as a result of the raid. They were: Odean Terry, 45, of Isom, James Ray Banks, 36, of 168 Beetree Branch, Premium, and Dusty Benjamin Banks, 29, of 5381 Highway 7 North, Whitesburg.
Police say Terry was inside Mullins’s house when they arrived. An arrest citation says Terry had eight oblong-shaped white pills in his jacket pocket, which Terry identified as Neurontin, the brand name of the drug gabapentin which is used for treating seizures and nerve damage. Terry told police the drugs were prescribed to him, but he did not have them in the proper container.
Although Neurontin is not a controlled substance, Terry was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance and with having a controlled substance not in its original container. Terry was released from the Letcher County Jail later Monday after posting as $500 cash bond.
While police were executing the search warrant, James Ray Banks pulled into the driveway of Mullins’ home and was charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failure to wear his seat belt, driving with an expired registration, driving without liability insurance, and driving an automobile with an obstructed view (cracked windshield). Police say James Banks had red eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet when he got out of his vehicle. He told police he had taken the anti-addiction medication Suboxone before he left Premium.
James Banks was released from the county jail after posting the required 10 percent of a $5,000 bond.
Police say that while they were still inside the Mullins home, Dusty Banks called on the phone seeking to buy drugs from Mullins. According to court documents, Lt. Damron answered Mullins’s phone when Dusty Banks called and asked, “Hey, do you have any of those one things left?” The arrest citation says Damron told Dusty Banks he had a “few blue ones left,” to which Banks replied, “I have a hundred dollars.”
The citation says Damron, acting as Mullins, then told Banks he would “cut him a deal” because he was almost out of pills and asked Banks where he would be coming from and in what type of vehicle. Documents say that after Banks said he would be coming from Colson in a maroon Jeep, Damron waited beside the road in his sheriff ’s cruiser until Banks passed by in the Jeep. Damron then stopped Banks and found $101 in his wallet.
“(Banks) gave a statement that he was coming to the residence to buy Xanax and he had bought there about three times in the past,” Damron wrote in the citation charging Banks with complicity to third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (first offense).
Dusty Banks was released from jail after his mother, Glenda Banks, signed a $5,000 surety bond that Judge Mullins had ordered to be signed by her or her husband, Archie Banks.
Arraignments for James Ray Banks, Dusty Banks and Odean Terry are set for 11 a.m. on Jan. 12 in district court.
Officers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard and with KSP’s Drug Enforcement Special Investigations-East (DESI) assisted the sheriff ’s department with the investigation.
Damron said the sheriff ’s department and other police agencies have been working hard to decrease the amount of illegal drugs being brought from elsewhere and sold in the county.
“ We are aware of the drug problem and we are working diligently,” said Damron. “We appreciate the public’s interest.”