A pair of Johnson County men are set to enter guilty pleas in their cases as part of an agreement which would amend their charges from class C felonies to class D felonies and see them each sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
According to court documents, Maxwell Warrix, 31, of East Point, and Chris Johnson, 41, of Flat Gap, both completed an inpatient drug rehabilitation program at Addiction Recovery Care in Louisa, and are set to be in court on Dec. 20 to enter guilty pleas and receive a sentence, with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office recommending the five years probation as an offer on a plea of guilt.
Both Warrix and Johnson have signed agreements to enter the pleas.
According to the indictments, Warrix, Johnson and Rodney Castle, 47, of
Staffordsville, were indicted on charges of first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), a class C felony, in complicity with one another. Castle was also indicted on a charge of first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
The trio could have faced five to 10 years in prison each, but the plea agreement included dropping the charges to a class D felony, which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. Supervised probation will mean the two will have to submit to drug testing and regular check ups with a probation officer. Any breach of that agreement will mean five years in prison.
According to Paintsville Police Department Captain Jonathan Holbrook, Warrix and Johnson agreed to sell some of the drugs to a confidential informant on June 27, leading to Holbrook securing a search warrant for Castle’s residence. After the drugs were purchased, they were field tested by officers and tested positive for heroin.
After the search warrant was issued, Holbrook said he, PPD Chief Mike Roe and fellow PPD Officers Zach Stapleton and Jeremy Shepherd, alongside Johnson County Dist. 2 Constable Ryan Caudill, traveled to Castle’s residence, where they located Warrix alongside an unidentified female and two young children, according to Holbrook. A search of the residence led to the discovery of methamphetamine in one of the bedrooms of the house.
After taking Warrix into custody, officers made contact with Johnson and Castle, who arrived at the house while Warrix was being arrested, and found a “white substance” in both Johnson and Castle’s front pockets.
According to Holbrook, Castle admitted that the drugs found inside the house were his, and the heroin found on Warrix and Johnson could not be field tested for the presence of fentanyl.
“It’s not yet confirmed by a lab, but it was confirmed by (Warrix, Johnson and Castle) that it was heroin laced with fentanyl,” Roe said.
Warrix and Johnson were charged with first-degree and first-offense trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), while Johnson and Castle both received charges of first-degree and first-offense possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and Castle was charged with first-degree and first-offense possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
The pair is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in the case on Dec. 20, while Castle has not yet been arrested.