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February 18, 2018



FEBRUARY 13, 2018 - written by WADE QUEEN

On Monday February 5, 2018, the Martin County Sheriff's Department released a press report touting a major drug roundup on Friday, February 2, (Groundhog Day), when 14 people were arrested on drug charges as a result of numerous indictments by the Martin County Grand Jury at the beginning of the month.

However, after further review of the report, and investigating the status of those who were actually arrested on drug charge indictments, the drug arrest roundup may be slightly inflated. 

At least four of those named had been in jail for several weeks, indicted on the charges they were originally arrested for, while all the others who were indicted on drug offenses and arrested on Groundhog Day were released from jail on bond later the same day.

According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Department report, at least 14 people were behind bars after a massive drug roundup in Martin County after the Martin County grand jury served 33 indictments in the county with 27 of those being drug charges.

Sheriff John Kirk said his department spent Friday “rounding up” those individuals. Sheriff Kirk said many of the charges stem from a year-long investigation and undercover drug buys.

Kirk added that at least 10 people were arrested Friday and four more people were already in jail.

In total, the actual number of those who were arrested for drug indictments was actually 9 people instead of 14.

Those 14 individuals named in the grand jury indictments charges are the following:


Jeffery, left,  and Casey SpenceJeffery, left, and Casey Spence

Jeffery Spence, 26, and Casey Spence, 19, both of Tomahawk have been charged with assault on a police officer, theft, false reporting of an incident and criminal trespassing. Both have been incarcerated at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville since December 5, 2017, being held on a $10,000 cash only bond each.

Chester SpenceChester SpenceChester Spence, 27, of Lowmanville ( in Lawrence County ) was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance. He has been incarcerated at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville since January 18, on a separate criminal charge in Lawrence County.






Stephanie Ann HowellStephanie Ann HowellStephanie Ann Howell, 32, of Inez, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. She has been incarcerated at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville since December 31, 2017.







Those taken into custody February 2 (GROUNDHOG DAY) were:



James MaynardJames MaynardJames Maynard, 50, of Lovely, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.






Billy PerryBilly PerryBilly Perry, 43, AKA 'Bill Jack', of Warfield, was arrested at the Dempsey Apartments. While serving the warrant, Martin County deputies allegedly found 20 pills on Perry. Perry told deputies they were Neurontin, a schedule 5 controlled substance. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and trafficking of a controlled substance.






Russell PennRussell PennRussell Penn, 29, of Inez, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.









Jack HornJack HornJack Horn, 59, of Inez, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.








George Mugsy ChapmanGeorge Mugsy ChapmanGeorge “Mugsy” Chapman, 26, of Warfield, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.









Conrad MillsConrad MillsConrad Mills, 66, of Inez, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.






Kendra CarterKendra CarterKendra Carter, 21, of Warfield, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.








Rory PraterRory PraterRory Prater, 48, of Lovely, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.








Nathaniel MaynardNathaniel MaynardNathaniel Maynard, 24, of Warfield, was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.







Jerold CastleJerold CastleJerold Castle, 52, of Pilgrim, was also arrested on two bench warrants.







The reason the ten suspects taken into custody on Groundhog Day were released on bond that same day was due to jail officials at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center trying to bring down the number of inmates being housed due to the heavy overcrowding in the last several months. 

The inmate count was as high as 325 a couple of times late last year ( in a facility that the maximum designated capacity being 225), with the inmate count at the jail in recent days being in the upper 260s to the low 270s.

But during most of the days this month the daily arrest count has been less than 10 for the entire Big Sandy counties that use the BSRDC.



0 #2 Citizen2 2018-02-21 18:56
Overcrowding? Are you serious? Well, you must be since you wrote the post. Have you talked to the correctional staff over the releases due to overcrowding? Doubt it, because if you did, you would know the real truth.

How many were released on bail & how many released on ROR? Answer that.

I agree with the first comment, some fact checking would of been nice.
+1 #1 Citizen 2018-02-14 18:12
Sheriff Kirk loves seeing his name in the papers, and especially on TV. Now don't get me wrong - press releases are important for such a powerful public agency, the citizenry need to know what's going on in their elected offices. But this report highlights the importance of fact checking and not simply accepting everything we're told by authorities. It seems the closer it gets to election time the more important it is. I'm not saying that anyone was wrong in their actions or intentionally misleading in their words, but it wouldn't be the first time ever.

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