Allen Bunch

Allen Bunch

A very large joint investigation by the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force and the Logan County Detention Center has wrapped up with charges against 12 individuals, some who are already incarcerated at the local jail.

On June 12th employees at the Logan County Detention Center intercepted information in regard to possible drugs being recently smuggled into the facility. Due to the nature of the incident, the Logan County Detention Center began an active internal investigation. During the course of the initial investigation, multiple inmates were drug tested and found to be under the influence of methamphetamine.

Jailer Phil Gregory contacted the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force to conduct a further investigation into the matter.

During this joint investigation, and after several weeks of processing evidence and exhaustive interviews, it was determined that the contraband had been brought into the facility by an outside source. Once inside the facility, the contraband was then distributed to the other inmates.

"I give kudos to Phil Gregory who has been on an aggressive campaign since being elected to try to stop illegal narcotics from coming into the jail," said Jacky Hunt, Director of the SCKDTF. "Jailer Gregory conducts periodically cell searches where he sometimes finds contraband and if this leads to a further investigation, he reaches out to our agency."

In this particular case, Hunt assigned detectives who located an outside source providing the contraband to a relative in the jail through the work release program. With this information, the task force launched an extensive investigation resulting in the arrests of not only outside source but all people in jail who participated in the smuggling operation.

"This is a perfect example of how the task force works with the jail," said Hunt. "I encourage other agencies to do this as well. This is our expertise and we are happy to assist."

Greg Bellar, who is assigned to the task force through the Russellville Police Department, is the lead investigator on the case and according to Hunt, did a lot of legwork in this case.

"This sends a message to prisoners and people outside that if you try to smuggle narcotics into jail or supply them to an inmate on the outside, that person will end up in jail as well," added Hunt.

The Logan County Grand Jury returned indictments on 12 subjects on Aug. 30. They include:

Jamie Houchens, 33, and John Houchens, 32, are both charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, first degree (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance, first degree (methamphetamine), and promoting contraband, first degree

Jason Miller, 31, Tyrone Bradley, 32, Jacob Buchanan, 24, Allen Bunch, 44, Matthew Campbell, 33, Justin Culver, 36, James Dunn, 36, Richard Ferguson, 46, Adam Roark, 54, Donald Volmer, 32, have all been charged with possession of a controlled substance, first degree (methamphetamine), and promoting contraband, first degree

"Thanks to the Logan County Detention Center’s staff for the great job they do in combating drugs and contraband coming into the jail," said Gregory. "Also, thanks to the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force for being such a good partner in combating the drugs coming into the jail and also for the weeks of processing evidence and interviews during the investigation of this case."

The function of the Grand Jury is to determine whether there is sufficient competent evidence to believe that a crime has been committed by a specific individual. This does not mean those individuals are guilty of a crime. The innocence or guilt is finally determined by a petit jury at trial.