More than 20 people were arrested in Letcher County on public intoxication and other drug charges since Friday, officials say. Several of the arrests involve the manufacture and use of methamphetamine.
“In the last six months we have received a complaint of meth use every day,” said Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Eugene Slone. “It is like in 2016 we woke up and meth is here. Before then you heard about it in Leslie County and Perry County, but now it is here. It is everywhere.”
Slone said meth is cheaper and easy to make and produces a high that lasts users much longer than prescription drugs or cocaine.
“You get a high that is higher than from cocaine,” said Slone. “The end result will kill you quicker. If you do meth one time, you will never be the same.”
Among those arrested were Deana Howard, 31, Anna Sizemore, 41, and Tiffany Quillen, 26, all of 343 Tan Yard Hollow, Sandlick Gap. The three were taken into custody at 1:15 p.m. on Monday after police received a tip that methamphetamine was being manufactured at their residence.
A round container and spoon suspected to contain meth were found inside the home. Letcher County Sheriff’s Deputy Alisha Congleton, one of the arresting officers, wrote in a citation that a strong chemical odor was also present inside and outside the home.
Sizemore, Quillen and Howard, who was on house arrest in connection with a previous meth charge, were each charged with firstdegree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In a separate case, Dennis Dewayne Sturgill, 41, of 154 Redbud Lane, Isom, was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, firstdegree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, and driving without an operator’s license after police said Sturgill was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of his truck parked outside the Subway restaurant in Isom.
Sheriff ’s Deputy Sidney Fields wrote in a citation that he found Sturgill around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday slumped over with his head on the truck’s steering wheel. Sturgill’s foot was on the brake while his truck was still in drive, according to the citation.
Fields reported finding a small white bottle with a white powder substance in Sturgill’s left front pants pocket. A handgun was found in the middle console in the truck.
A passenger in Sturgill’s truck, Melissa Cook, 34, of 177 Allen K Hollow, Isom, was also arrested after a Subway worker told police that Cook passed out on the counter inside the restaurant. A white powder substance was found inside Cook’s makeup bag; the nerve pain medication Neurontin/ Gabapentin was found both inside an unlabeled pill bottle and rolled up in aluminum foil, the citation said. Also found was a small bag containing a “strip” of the anti-withdrawal medication Suboxone.
Cook is charged with public intoxication (controlled substance), firstdegree possession of a controlled substance, and possession of controlled substance not in its proper container.
Around 10 p.m. on April 29, police received a call regarding three people who were passed out in a maroon Ford Mustang parked near a church on Sandlick.
Police arrived to find a “chunky powder substance” suspected to be cocaine was in the right side floorboard of the Mustang. Hypodermic syringes were found in the Mustang after it had been towed, a citation says.
The driver and occupants of the Mustang were from Harlan and Middlesboro and were in Letcher County looking for a drug dealer they know but got lost instead, said Sheriff Danny Webb. Arrested were:
• Grover L. Carlisle, 30, of 2716 Old Pineville Pike, Middlesboro, who was driving the Mustang. He is charged with public intoxication excluding alcohol, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and giving officer false name or address.
• Rebecca Cornett, 28, and Ashley Stewart, 23, both of 502 Mountain View Ave., Harlan, who were passengers in the Mustang. The two are charged with public intoxication of a controlled substance and first-degree possession of a controlled substance. Cornett is also charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.
In yet another case, police found Conda Mullins, 28, of Thornton, passed out in a Silver Saturn parked near the Mayking Post Office at 8:20 p.m. on April 29.
A citation says Mullins is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia and public intoxication (controlled substance).
Kentucky State Police, the Sheriff ’s Department and Whitesburg Police Department were involved in the arrests.