The Paintsville Police Department netted three meth busts in February thanks to controlled buys orchestrated by Capt. John Holbrook in conjunction with confidential informants, according to PPD Chief Mike Roe.

Roe said the department will continue its work to crack down on suppliers of the drug in the city and continue to support the efforts of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in stopping traffickers throughout Johnson County.

The three individuals arrested included Cristin Cook, 36, of Paintsville, David Lemaster, 60, of Richmond, and Lawrence Songer, 39, of Paintsville, all of whom were charged with first-degree trafficking between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25, according to Roe.

“All of these cases were at the leadership of (Holbrook),” Roe said. “He took care of all of the confidential informants, as well as making sure the buys were made correctly and all of the search warrants were done correctly.”

According to Roe, these arrests are part of an effort between local law enforcement agencies to crack down on the problem methamphetamine currently presents to our community and said that the issue was “out of control right now.” Roe said, for example, that the PPD was assisted at the scene of Cook’s arrest by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 unit.

“We are continuing to try and get this problem straightened out. Capt. Holbrook has got several other people lined up that he’s working on catching. We’re going to shut down this meth in the city of Paintsville, and with the help of the sheriff’s office, in the county as well,” Roe said. “At least, we’re going to try. It’s out of control right now, but we’re going to come after it with everybody we’ve got and try to shut it down.”

Cook’s charges included several bench warrants, according to jail records, and she remained lodged at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center as of presstime Friday with an arraignment set for Mar. 1.

Songer also remained in custody at the BSRDC, with a preliminary hearing set for Mar. 4. His full charges included possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree and first-offense possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (less than two grams of methamphetamine).

As of presstime, Lemaster had not been released and a court date had not been set in his case, according to Kentucky Court of Justice records.

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