The Middlesboro Police Department has made an effort to lower the amount of drug trafficking in the city during March.
As a result of drug trafficking investigations led by Sgt. Joe Holder, several local residents were charged.
Holder brought a total of 13 drug trafficking charges against seven individuals. With the exception of one marijuana charge, the cases involved prescription drugs (Suboxone, hydrocodone and oxycodone). Holder began making the arrests at the conclusion of the initial phase of a long-term operation and more arrests are expected as his investigation continues.
“The Middlesboro Police Department remains committed to combating the drug problem,” said MPD officials in a press release.
Strategies include undercover trafficking investigations, interdiction tactics by patrol officers and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. The release states the most vital component of a drug enforcement program is community participation in the form of information.
Anyone who has information about illegal drug sales, transportation or abuse is encouraged to contact the MPD at 606-248-3636. Tips are kept confidential.
Those arrested on trafficking charges by Holder include:
* Emanuel Hall, 45, first-degree trafficking a controlled substance (oxycodone) — arrested Jan. 22;
* Joseph Buska, 47, three counts first-degree trafficking a controlled substance (oxycodone) — arrested March 18;
* Travis Seals, 20, trafficking marijuana — arrested March 18;
* Ely “Cowboy” Hembree, 69, three counts of second-degree trafficking a controlled substance (hydrocodone) — arrested March 19;
* Michael Earle, 31, two counts of trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school — arrested March 21;
* Gerald Ayers, 49, trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, second-degree trafficking a controlled substance (Suboxone) — arrested March 21;
* Billy Earle, 32, trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school — arrested March 21.