JCSO makes drug arrests
PAINTSVILLE - Memorial Day weekend was productive for Johnson County Sheriff Bill Witten, with two drug-related arrests.
The first arrest resulted from a traffic checkpoint the department had set up at the junction of Boyd Branch and Route 581. Shane Ratliff, 35, of Paintsville, approached the traffic stop in his 1996 Oldsmobile and decided to make a U-turn to avoid the stop. Deputies observed his change in direction and thought it suspicious and opted to follow Ratliff.
Despite traveling away at a high rate of speed, deputies were able to stop Ratliff's vehicle. A search of the car yielded a large quantity of controlled substances, including marijuana, as well as a substantial wad of cash that added up to $7,454.
Deputies Josh Cole and Bo Williams arrested Ratliff as well as a passenger in the vehicle, Gary Michael Ratliff, 29.
Shane Ratliff was charged with fleeing police, trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving and obstructing governmental operations by failing to yield for the traffic checkpoint.
Gary Ratliff was charged with fleeing police on foot, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, complicity to traffic in a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.
The sheriff's department also discovered a methamphetamine lab Friday in conjunction with the department's Tactical Narcotics Team when a traffic stop led to the discovery of a rolling meth lab.
The lab was discovered in the trunk of a 1991 Honda Accord that was being driven by Justin A. Best, 25, of Hager Hill. A traffic stop led to discovery of the lab and Best was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of meth precursors and possession of a controlled substance.
The incident led to others being arrested. Erica Picklesimer, 22, of Sitka, was charged with complicity to manufacture meth and unlawful possession of the drug.
Delmar C. Webb, 35, of Hager Hill, was charged with unlawful possession as well as facilitation to manufacture the substance. Theresa K. Webb, also of Hager Hill, was charged with possession and facilitation in manufacturing meth.
The arrests led to a search at a Hager Hill residence which added to the charges and revealed that the group was allegedly storing meth and other drugs in the home.
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