Meth, ecstasy seized in Pikeville drug bust

Drugs, including suspected meth and ecstasy, seized during a drug trafficking investigation by the Pikeville Police Department are displayed on a table at the PPD headquarters following a bust Tuesday in the Cedar Hills community.

Pikeville Police seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine and other drugs this week.

Pikeville Police Chief Chris Edmonds told the News-Express that complaints of possible drug activity over the past several weeks in the Cedar Hills area of Pikeville led to an investigation that netted the seizure of several drugs, including suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription drugs and a drug believed to be either ecstasy or a “date-rape drug.” As a result of the investigation, four people were arrested and charged first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Those arrested Tuesday included:

• Timothy C. Cantrell, 41, of Cedar Hills, Pikeville

• Jessica L. Bartley, 40, of Cedar Hills, Pikeville

• Zeola L. Vance, 35, of Banner

• Charles Doneghy, 30, of Wooded Way, Louisville

• Merxiadeze Larsen, 28, of Holsworth Lane, Louisville

Tuesday’s drug bust took place at the residence of Cantrell, who, Edmonds said, lives at the residence with his mother, who officers did not identify by name. The residence is also listed with the Pike County Detention Center’s booking log as Bartley’s residence.

Edmonds said Pikeville Police officers investigating citizen complaints of possible drug trafficking encountered an intoxicated individual in the area where the drug bust took place. Edmonds said the individual, once contacted by police, threw an item away which was later recovered and discovered to contain possible meth. Edmonds said the individual, who also was not identified by name, cooperated with police and information gathered during the investigation led them to Cantrell’s residence.

Edmonds said Cantrell and his mother agreed to let police search the residence and property, and in a pool house outside the residence, an odor of marijuana was detected and officers encountered several other people. Edmonds said during the search, officers located a large bag containing more than 6.5 ounces, or 189 grams, of methamphetamine, along with several smaller bags of suspected meth. Various quantities of marijuana, prescription drugs and the drug suspected to be ecstasy were also found.

Edmonds said those arrested as a result of the search and seizure of the drugs did not cooperate with police, and they were all charged with drug trafficking.

“As of right now, we’ve got no cooperation with anybody about who the meth belongs to,” Edmonds said, adding that Cantrell’s mother did, however, fully cooperate with police in allowing them to search her property.

Cantrell, Bartley, Doneghy and Larsen pleaded not guilty to the drug trafficking charges in Pike District Court Wednesday, and, as of presstime Wednesday, they remained lodged in the Pike County Detention Center.

Edmonds said the total street value of the drugs seized in Tuesday’s drug bust was more than $20,000. He added that the possible ecstasy seized as part of the bust may be laced with other drugs.

Edmonds said the area in which the bust took place — near the Cedar Creek community, which is one of the more wealthy areas of Pikeville — is alarming, in that the area is typically not one which sees a lot of criminal activity such as drug trafficking. Another Pikeville Police officer who was part of the investigation said the location of the drug activity is indicative of new tactics being undertaken by drug traffickers.

“Drug traffickers are moving into well-established communities to conceal their drug trafficking activities,” the officer said.

Edmonds said the amount of drugs found at the scene was “disturbing.”

“You don’t really want to think that your community has that large an amount of crystal methamphetamine coming into it,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds said it was important that members of the community report any unusual activity to the police.

“I’ve never seen a meth problem in Cedar Creek,” Edmonds said. “That opens my eyes, and it lets you know that there’s a meth issue everywhere. It also lets you know that drugs affect every family in some sort of way.”

Edmonds said the investigation is still ongoing.

“Hopefully, we will get some more cooperation and possibly leading to some more discovery,” Edmonds said.

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