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Police net 16 in 'Operation Pill Crusher'

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Sealed indictments follow one-year investigation

By Sarah Bennett

After a year-long investigation, local police arrested 14 Elizabethtown residents and a New Haven man as part of a prescription drug trafficking probe they’ve titled “Operation Pill Crusher.”

Investigators also served a warrant on Steven D. Tubbs, 27, an inmate at Green River Correctional Complex where he is serving a five-year sentence for flagrant non-support.

Ron Eckart, director of the Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force, said detectives began serving the warrants early Friday morning after spending two weeks pursuing indictments through a Hardin County grand jury.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young said the indictments were sealed to secure the investigation.

“Basically, when you have that many people, word gets out,” he said.

Although several suspects are family members, Young and Eckart said not all of the 16 defendants were connected to one another.

“These people really weren’t working together, per se,” Young said. “They were more independent contractors.”

According to Eckart, some of the suspects allegedly were prescribed pills, which they then sold rather than using the medicine themselves.

“There was some abusing of the system,” Eckart said.

The average age of the 16 defendants is 46.7 years old.

With the exception of Jonathan Brashear, 39, of Elizabethtown, who is charged with trafficking in marijuana, the remaining suspects are charged with trafficking in prescription medication.

Fourteen suspects are accused of trafficking in Hydrocodone and four, Oxycodone, according to a news release.

Joy Hobson, 38, of Elizabethtown, is charged with trafficking in crack cocaine in addition to pills, police said.

While serving warrants, investigators uncovered additional drugs that led to further charges for two defendants, according to officials.

Daniel Spicer, 29, of Elizabethtown, was indicted for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and three counts of second-degree trafficking. However, when police found more Oxycodone and Hydrocodone at his residence, they charged him with additional counts each of first- and second-degree trafficking charges, police said.

Investigators also found marijuana when arresting Danny Goode, 51, of Elizabethtown, and charged him with possession, according to the release.

The 15 arrested Friday were lodged at Hardin County Detention Center and some since have been released on bonds.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.

SUSPECTS

Daniel D. Spicer, 29, of Elizabethtown, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Oxycodone, three counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Jonathan L. Brashear, 39, of Elizabethtown, three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school — marijuana

Joy Hobson, 38, of Elizabethtown, four counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — cocaine, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone and first-degree persistent felony offense

Robin K. Bryant, 56, of Elizabethtown, two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Oxycodone and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Leslie D. Young, 55, of New Haven, two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone and two counts of third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Tramadol

Danny L. Goode, 51, of Elizabethtown, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Oxycodone and two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Gary H. Stillwell Sr., 59, of Elizabethtown, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Fentanyl patches and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Gary H. Stillwell Jr., 32, of Elizabethtown, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

David A. Montgomery, 66, of Elizabethtown, three counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Lillie A. Barnett, 71, of Elizabethtown, two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

James N. Barnett, 78, of Elizabethtown, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Frankie L. Barnett, 59, of Elizabethtown, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone and first-degree persistent felony offense

Brian K. Brey, 35, of Elizabethtown, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Leslie A. Cook, 30, of Elizabethtown, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Devon L. Parhm, 22, of Elizabethtown, two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — morphine and Dilaudid and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — Hydrocodone

Steven D. Tubbs, 27, of Green River Correctional Complex, four counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance — morphine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl patches