What started as an investigation into a “shots fired” complaint led to a drug bust for Floyd County law enforcement officials Friday.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Friday, March 15, Floyd County Sheriff deputies responded to the Justell area of Betsy Layne to investigate a complaint about shots being fired in the neighborhood. They were told a small SUV was in the area, Sheriff John Hunt said.
Floyd County Sheriff Department Sgt. Oliver Little and deputies Justin Szymchack, Kevin Johnson and Jacob Calhoun were assisted at the scene by the Martin Police Department, Hunt said.
“The deputies responded to a complaint of what neighbors thought was gunshots coming from a vehicle, and the vehicle described was a white, small SUV,” Hunt said. “And when deputies found it, they stopped it, and then from there, it led to one suspicious act after another and four individuals … were arrested.”
Hunt said the occupants were “being fidgety.”
“They were hiding stuff, just being fidgety. Deputies thought they were trying to hide something, which they did later find pill bottles hidden in the crotch area of one guy,” he said.
Hunt said deputies found 20 or 30 pill bottles filled with hundreds of pills, several baggies containing about 90 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a semi-automatic handgun. He said deputies could not recover one item that was thrown off of the Justell bridge.
Deputies arrested Amy R. Bevins, 40, and Frankie Myers, 41, both of Hardy, and Pikeville resident Kevin Jarrod Worrix, 41, charging them with first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance, more than two grams of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bevins, who was identified in court documents as the driver of the vehicle, was also charged with second-degree fleeing/evading police for allegedly continuing to drive after deputies attempted to pull her vehicle over on the Justell Bridge.
Court documents disclose that Jennifer Gillman, 39, was also arrested, but her citation had not been filed in Floyd County District Court prior to print deadline on Friday.
Hunt reported that one person who was arrested was taken to the hospital for a suspected overdose.
“One of them was ended up taken to the hospital. Her actions just became more and more not normal, and Oliver (Little) being a trained paramedic, and the jail, too, thought something was going on with her. She has been taken to Highlands Regional,” he said.
Hunt thanked community members who called to report shots fired in Justell, saying that the caller provided “very detailed descriptions” of the vehicle and which direction it was headed.
“Communities are getting tired of it. They see it in their neighborhood and they see it’s not getting any better, either, and they’re doing everything they can to help us, and we appreciate it,” he said. “That’s what we ask, is that, we can’t be everywhere, but some of these neighborhoods are worse than others, and if we can get the right people in there at the right time of night or day, then hopefully, it makes a difference and takes some of them out of there.”
He said the local meth problem has gotten worse over the past few years.
“Meth is just absolutely consuming our time. I mean, we can’t get a minute’s break for it,” he said. “This is probably, these four right here, is probably our 11th arrest or 12th arrest in the last two or three nights just for meth and trafficking. I’m talking about not just addicts. We’re arresting dealers with sizable amounts of meth.”
The estimated 100 grams of meth seized in this arrest would be enough to provide 180 or more shots from a syringe, Hunt said.
“It looks like the same meth that’s being brought in,” Hunt said. “It’s real crystal-like. It’s not your junk meth that, you know, we seen two or three years ago. We haven’t seen that in a while, the dirty, yellowish-looking meth. This is real crystal-like, clear-looking, and to be honest with you, by the reactions of the users, it’s more pure than what we dealt with two years ago. The people who are taking this meth, the actions of them, we have noticed a difference in the last year or two, with this meth that’s being brought in from Lexington or Detroit, or wherever it’s coming from.”
He believes the methamphetamine is impacting the mental health of addicts.
“I think, to be honest with you, it seems to be more permanent, the effects seem to be more permanent. I tell you, it is scary to see the number of mental patients that we are transporting for evaluations or to mental hospitals that are young. … Drugs are obviously the reason,” he said.
He said inmates the department transported years ago for mental evaluations were elderly. Now, they’re younger, he said.
“We see people that we know, that we’ve known for years — five years, seven years, some longer — not just in our job, but personally; people that we dealt with job-related things, two years ago,” he said. “You know, then, temporarily, they were just an intoxicated or impaired person, but the next day or two, they were back to normal. Well, we’re seeing people today that normalcy has left them. Their parents will tell you the same thing. Something has happened.”
Bevins, Myers and Worrix were arraigned in Floyd District Court on Friday. District Judge Eric Hall placed them each under bonds of $5,000 cash. He scheduled preliminary hearings to be held Monday in the cases.