Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland says illegal prescription drug sale and use in Franklin County has become “incredible.”
Five were indicted Wednesday for trafficking in controlled prescription drugs, which has become commonplace with about 35 charged with the same offense in the last six months.
Cleveland said initially he was inclined to go easy on the prescription pill trafficking charges to get the files off his hands, “but the more you look at it, the angrier you become.”
“You look through these interviews, and these people say it’s harder to get off of than any other drug,” he said.
“They’ve stopped using cocaine, but they can’t stop using Percocets.”
He says many believe the illegal prescription drugs are a problem only in the eastern counties of Kentucky, but the drugs are coming into Franklin County and affecting the community by reaching young adults as well.
“You have these young girls who are doing anything they are asked just to get three Percocets,” Cleveland said.
“And when you see many of these people during interviews or drug court, you realize the prescription drugs are just a symptom of other things they have going on in their lives.”
Cleveland also noted the income people have made from trafficking in prescription drugs such as Xanax, oxycodone and Opana.
“A lot of money has been made in this community on prescription drugs – illegally,” Cleveland said.
“Some people were making $2,500-$3,000 illegally from trips to Florida,” Cleveland said, referring to the 24 indicted in October on an organized crime charge.
“And that’s clear profit in cash.”
And he said he realizes the money to be made from trafficking the prescription drugs is two-fold, with the drug companies also making a large profit.
“As soon as they knew what they had, they kicked up the prices,” Cleveland said. “They had a gold mine.”
Those indicted on charges of trafficking in controlled substances included:
>Curtis Sumpter, 18, trafficking in oxycodone and Xanax and tampering with evidence.
>Dequan Flower, 26, trafficking in oxycodone.
>Michael J. Edwards, 34, tampering with evidence, trafficking in hydrocodone and possession of marijuana.
>Raymond Plummer, 52, trafficking in oxycodone and acting as a persistent felony offender. The charges and on the persistent felony indictment included trafficking in oxymorphone and two counts of trafficking in oxycodone.
>Simyon Minion, 28, trafficking in oxymorphone, trafficking in oxycodone and one count of acting as a persistent felony offender.
Also, a Carlisle family was indicted for making false tax returns after failing to report about $2 million on tax returns from its business, Lee-Lynn Machining Inc. between 2006-2009.
The Revenue Cabinet determined D. Bradley Murrell, 47, V. Delmus Murrell, 66, and Kathy Murrell, 62, were taking checks payable to the company, depositing them in their personal accounts and not reporting them as income, Cleveland said.
“They were bypassing the company, and spending it but not claiming it as income on their tax returns,” Cleveland said.
Others indicted include:
>Thomas Jackson, 336 ½ St. Clair St., 53, trafficking in cocaine.
>Rolland Scales, 32, of 623 Shelby St., trafficking in cocaine.
>Jeremy Cheser, 34, an inmate at the Franklin County Regional Jail, allegedly bit a deputy jailer and was charged with assault.
“He didn’t take a chunk out of him, but it did break the skin,” Cleveland said.
>Phillip Ray Travis, of 516 Leawood Drive, has been indicted on a charge of second-degree assault. According to the indictment “he intentionally caused physical injury to Joan Gershman with a bat” Sept. 7.