Whitesburg KY

Man pleads guilty in largest meth raid

A Bottom Fork man the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department arrested last year with nearly four pounds of methamphetamines has pleaded guilty in Letcher Circuit Court.

Danny Robert “Danny Bob” Collins, 63, changed his plea from not guilty after two amended indictments were issued February 7.

Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison Banks has recommended that Collins serve seven years for the meth charge, five years for investment of drug-related income, 365 days for criminal use/ possession of drug paraphernalia, five years for first-degree wanton endangerment of a child under 16 who was in the home while drug trafficking was taking place, seven years and a $1,000 fine on each of three counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and a $250 fine for one count of public intoxication other than alcohol.

All sentences are to run concurrently with each other, but consecutive to eight years remaining on a previous 10-year sentence for which he had been paroled. Banks said the guilty plea on state charges does not preclude federal charges that may be filed later.

Police said at the time of the raid that the methamphetamines confiscated would be worth an estimated $180,000 on the street. Then-Sheriff Danny Webb, who was sheriff for 16 years after retiring as a state police captain, said it was largest seizure of methamphetamines he had ever seen in eastern Kentucky.

The arrests came as a result of a six-month investigation by then-Deputies Sidney Fields and Alisha Congleton, Webb said at the time. The raid came on March 12, 2018, one day after Jenkins Police arrested two other people in a traffic stop and found drugs believed to have come from Collins. Deputies obtained a search warrant and raided the Collins home early the next morning.

Deputies said that inside the Collins home, they found nearly four pounds of meth, what was then thought to be 10 grams of brown heroin, about $5,000 in cash, much of it in $100 bills, four handguns and assorted drug paraphernalia.

The heroin charge was dropped after lab tests showed the substance to be a dirty meth. The remainder of the methamphetamine was crystal meth, also known as ice, a high-quality, laboratory-produced methamphetamine believed to have been smuggled into the country from Mexico rather than the “shake and bake” meth made locally in soft drink bottles.

In addition to prison time, Collins will forfeit all items seized in the search. Illegal items will be destroyed, and appropriate items will be distributed to law enforcement. According to documents filed by Banks, the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department will receive 85 percent of the assets for official use, with the remaining 15 percent being turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

In addition to drugs and drug paraphernalia confiscated and to be destroyed, forfeited items include $5,085 in cash, a Bersa .38 auto pistol, a Smith and Wesson .38, a Ruger GP 100 pistol, a box of .357 Magnum ammunition and a cell phone that is currently in temporary custody of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Collins will also pay $165 court costs and any other fines imposed by the court.

He will also be required to pay the costs of destroying the drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Collins’s daughter, Samantha Danielle Collins, 36, was arrested during the March 2018 raid also, and pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced August. Her sentences were also to run concurrently, for a total of 10 years.

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