PPD, JCSO continue to target meth trafficking

The Paintsville Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office worked together late Friday night and early Saturday morning to secure four arrests related to meth trafficking via controlled buys and work with confidential informants, according to PPD Chief Mike Roe and Captain John Holbrook, who said the arrests led to the seizure of approximately 90 grams of methamphetamine, several firearms, approximately $2,000 in cash and two vehicles.

Paintsville Police Department officers and Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to work towards cracking down on meth trafficking in Paintsville and Johnson County, according to PPD Chief Mike Roe, who said controlled buys and work with confidential informants led to arrests totaling approximately 90 grams of methamphetamine, multiple firearms, two vehicles and approximately $2,000 being seized alongside four arrests taking place late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

According to PPD Captain John Holbrook, James Kirby Adams, 31, of Flat Gap, Robert Spradlin, 37, of Paintsville, Christopher Blair, 26, of Van Lear, and Ronald Rice, 27, of Georgetown, were arrested early Saturday morning. 

“Me, (Roe), Johnson County Sheriff Doug Saylor, JCSO Deputy Bill Meade and Constable James ‘Red Eye’ Castle went with us,” Holbrook said. “We went out, we had a drug transaction set up with (Adams) … we seized his truck, and after him, we went over to Boyd Street to (Spradlin’s residence).

“It was the same thing,” Holbrook continued. “We had a drug transaction set up, we ended up stopping him because he noticed us and tried to take off … we ended up catching him and he told us he had some marijuana in his house but wouldn’t let us in to search. We actually went and got a search warrant … he was a convicted felon and he also had these firearms.”

Adams was charged with first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (greater than or equal to two grams of methamphetamine), while Spradlin received charges of first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (greater than or equal to two grams of methamphetamine), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Holbrook said after those arrests, another transaction took place with Blair and Rice, who were delivering drugs from Lexington as part of the controlled buy. 

“They delivered this stuff from Lexington,” Holbrook said. “We were able to stop him, and (Rice) was wanted on parole violation.”

Blair was charged with first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (greater than or equal to two grams of methamphetamine), third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, while Rice was wanted on a parole violation warrant and received new charges of first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (greater than or equal to two grams of methamphetamine), first-offense trafficking in controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and third-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Holbrook and Roe said the street value of the drugs seized is approximately $10,000 and that they were working to try and prevent another drug that reared its head during these arrests from entering the county, after noticing an increase in arrests related to heroin.

“I’d say we got three to four grams of (heroin),” Holbrook said. 

“The big thing is the meth and the heroin,” Roe said. “People aren’t going to live long if they start doing the heroin.”

Holbrook and Roe said they are working in close coordination with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in their efforts.

“If it’s out in the county and it’s something we’ve got, we go on it and we just include the sheriff’s office,” Holbrook said. “If they have something in the city, they go ahead and go, we don’t get mad about them taking drugs in the city and they don’t get mad for us working in the county, as long as they’re getting off the street.”

“We want to work together on it,” Roe said.

According to both Holbrook and Roe, there are several more transactions in the works and arrests will continue in their work against drug trafficking in Johnson County.

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