Kentucky State Police performed a statewide drug raid Friday aimed at nearly 500 alleged drug offenders.
“Operation Black Friday”’ was put into action Friday utilizing every available sworn unit within the agency to arrest 479 individuals in what is the largest one-day drug roundup in agency history.
KSP reported 479 individuals were targeted on 774 charges.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said the operation is a direct result of law abiding citizens providing tips via phone calls, messages, letters and information to the anonymous tip lines.
Brewer referenced an anonymous letter — a plea for help — from a mother whose son became a drug addict. She provided pertinent information that led to the arrest of the drug dealer selling to her son.
“Today, I can say to all of you who have made this same plea — we hear you. We have not forgotten about you and more importantly, we are locating these individuals and making these much needed arrests,” says Brewer.
Brewer indicated that many of the arrests are what KSP terms as “low-level” offenders. These are usually people who are buying drugs and generally cause disruption within the communities where they live.
“While legislation regarding pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs) has had a positive impact in Kentucky, heroin is now an increasing problem across the state,” says Brewer. “Our arrest data (from DESI Branch) is showing a 200 percent increase in heroin related arrests since 2012.”
Brewer encouraged citizens to be vigilant in reporting drug activity and suspicious behavior in their local communities.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, KSP had arrested 176 of the ‘Operation Black Friday’ targets resulting in 313 charges.
Fourteen people were arrested in Bell County.
James Brock, Shannon Hipp, Penny Alexander, Ray McCoy, Charlene Asher, Bradley Asher, all of Pineville; Jackie Messer, of Arjay; Letcher Cox, of Kettle Island; Virginia Saylor, Krystal Saylor, Jerry Saylor, all of Carrey; John Brown, Megan Nantz and Andis Witherspoon, all of Middlesboro.