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Suspect in 'largest bust' is at large

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Raid in Southville nets $1m in pot, $63K in cash

By Lisa King

A suspect remains  at large following an extraordinary drug bust Tuesday night in Southville that netted about $1 million worth of marijuana and a large sum of cash.

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The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police Drug Task Force raided the home at 738 Southville Pike and found an estimated 800 pounds of marijuana and approximately $63,000 in cash.

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong said the street value of the pot is about $1 million.

“It’s one of the largest [bust] that I’ve been a part of,” he said, which he said was the result of a several-month-long investigation by his office and the task force.

Armstrong would not reveal the identity of the man who lived in the home, how they were trying to find him or any further details of the raid, but on Thursday afternoon no arrests had been made.

 “The investigation is continuing,” he said.

But details were pieced together from interviews with residents, at least one of whom saw the raid take place and said he could identify an Hispanic man who lived at that residence.

The Sentinel-News could not confirm the name provided, and a woman who had been identified as the suspect’s wife said, when contacted by the newspaper, “I want to talk to the police before I say anything.”

Armstrong declined to comment except to say that disclosing such information could jeopardize the case.

 

Eyewitness account

A resident of the area said he saw law enforcement offers arrive at 738 Southville Pike on Tuesday evening. The Sentinel-News is withholding the name of this witness because such disclosure could place him in danger.

The witness, who said he had told investigators what he had seen, said officers arrived at about 8:30 p.m. and stayed until about 3 a.m.

“I could see them going all over the house and pulling out all sorts of stuff,” he said. “I have a two-year-old here. I was concerned there was a child molester or a murder or something going on.”

The neighbor added that about 20 minutes before officers had arrived, he had seen the resident and another person loading what he called “fishing coolers” from a trailer to a truck.

The two loaded four of the coolers, which were about five or six feet long each, and departed, he said.

On Wednesday morning he said he saw that same man, driving a different vehicle, pass by the residence driving slowly, turn around and then repeat that routine in the other direction.

 

Visit to the residence

The neighbor said later Wednesday that man’s wife, who he said is  estranged from the resident, asked him to go with her to the house.

“She wanted to get some of her things and to check on her animals [horses and llamas],” he said.

He said the woman told him she had been out of town and that when she returned home Tuesday and went to the house to pick up some of her belongings and get her teen-aged daughter, who was staying there, she discovered the drug operation, left and contacted law enforcement.

She told the neighbor she was scared.

The neighbor said that when he visited the property that he saw where officers had used a blowtorch to cut open the safe in the basement. He added that there were plastic bags and cellophane all over the place where the officers had cut them open and found the pot.

“Then I went outside, and in the back of the property, I found a 50-gallon drum filled with cellophane papers that were covered with pink Post-It notes that had numbers on them that looked like route numbers and an amount –like route 49 and 17,856 – and there was white powder,” he said. “I don’t think it was cocaine. I don’t know what it was.

“I also found abut 20 industrial-sized garbage bags with black wrappers, and there was [marijuana] residue inside the bags.”

 

Carriss: Good work

Armstrong said 53 bundles of marijuana weighing around 15 pounds each were confiscated from the residence after a search warrant was obtained.

“We have been a part of the Kentucky State Police Task Force for several years now and have solved numerous drug cases,” he said.

Shelby County Magistrate Tony Carriss, who represents the area, had this to say about the incident:

“I am extremely pleased that the Joint Drug Task Force is making headways into stopping the illegal drugs in our county. Sheriff Mike Armstrong and the drug task force should be thanked by all for the removal of this marijuana from our community.

“I certainly hope the seized funds are used to  continue to make our community safer from this activity.”

 

 

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police Drug Task Force raided the home at 738 Southville Pike and found an estimated 800 pounds of marijuana and approximately $63,000 in cash.

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong said the street value of the pot is about $1 million.

“It’s one of the largest [bust] that I’ve been a part of,” he said, which he said was the result of a several-month-long investigation by his office and the task force.

Armstrong would not reveal the identity of the man who lived in the home, how they were trying to find him or any further details of the raid, but on Thursday afternoon no arrests had been made.

“The investigation is continuing,” he said.

But details were pieced together from interviews with residents, at least one of whom saw the raid take place and said he could identify an Hispanic man who lived at that residence.

The Sentinel-News could not confirm the name provided, and a woman who had been identified as the suspect’s wife said, when contacted by the newspaper, “I want to talk to the police before I say anything.”

Armstrong declined to comment except to say that disclosing such information could jeopardize the case.

Eyewitness account

A resident of the area said he saw law enforcement offers arrive at 738 Southville Pike on Tuesday evening. The Sentinel-News is withholding the name of this witness because such disclosure could place him in danger.

The witness, who said he had told investigators what he had seen, said officers arrived at about 8:30 p.m. and stayed until about 3 a.m.

“I could see them going all over the house and pulling out all sorts of stuff,” he said. “I have a two-year-old here. I was concerned there was a child molester or a murder or something going on.”

The neighbor added that about 20 minutes before officers had arrived, he had seen the resident and another person loading what he called “fishing coolers” from a trailer to a truck.

The two loaded four of the coolers, which were about five or six feet long each, and departed, he said.

On Wednesday morning he said he saw that same man, driving a different vehicle, pass by the residence driving slowly, turn around and then repeat that routine in the other direction.

Visit to the residence

The neighbor said later Wednesday that man’s wife, who he said is estranged from the resident, asked him to go with her to the house.

“She wanted to get some of her things and to check on her animals [horses and llamas],” he said.

He said the woman told him she had been out of town and that when she returned home Tuesday and went to the house to pick up some of her belongings and get her teen-aged daughter, who was staying there, she discovered the drug operation, left and contacted law enforcement.

She told the neighbors she was scared.

The neighbor said that when he visited the property that he saw where officers had used a blowtorch to cut open the safe in the basement. He added that there were plastic bags and cellophane all over the place where the officers had cut them open and found the pot.

“Then I went outside, and in the back of the property, I found a 50-gallon drum filled with cellophane papers that were covered with pink Post-It notes that had numbers on them that looked like route numbers and an amount"like route 49 and 17,856 " and there was white powder,” he said. “I don’t think it was cocaine. I don’t know what it was.

“I also found abut 20 industrial-sized garbage bags with black wrappers, and there was [marijuana] residue inside the bags.”

Carriss: Good work

Armstrong said 53 bundles of marijuana weighing around 15 pounds each were confiscated from the residence after a search warrant was obtained.

“We have been a part of the Kentucky State Police Task Force for several years now and have solved numerous drug cases,” he said.

Shelby County Magistrate Tony Carriss, who represents the area, had this to say about the incident:

“I am extremely pleased that the Joint Drug Task Force is making headways

into stopping the illegal drugs in our county. Sheriff Mike Armstrong and

the drug task force should be thanked by all for the removal of this

marijuana from our community.

“I certainly hope the seized funds are used to continue to make our community safer from this activity.”