A Kentucky State Police operation to apprehend a record number of drug traffickers has fallen short of its goal.
The KSP launched Operation Black Friday on Nov. 1, and since then they have arrested 339 out of a total 479 targeted offenders.
Although the operation was billed as the largest one-day drug roundup in agency history, the bulk of the arrests were made over the course of the past month. KSP spokesman Trooper Paul Blanton says despite calling short, Black Friday is the largest operation led by the agency, and a third of the targets remain at-large, and might still be caught.
“There are still arrest warrants out there. It’s just the nature of the people that the arrests warrants are for: They’re transient; they’re not staying in the same place. Once several, or once one of the people they normally do business with ends up going to jail, you know, that makes them kind of try and get under the radar," Blanton said.
Blanton did not say how much the operation cost, adding that ‘Black Friday’ would continue until however long it takes.
An early-morning fire Friday at the Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon is under investigation by Kentucky State Police, the ATF and the state fire marshal’s office.
Trooper Billy Gregory says police got a call about a break-in at the distillery on Veterans Memorial Highway about 6 a.m. EST. When officers arrived, they quickly called the fire department.
“They were able to save the building without a huge loss and there were no injuries,” said Gregory. “At this time, the investigation has led us to believe that someone forced their way into the building and set the fire.”
Officials with the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force say they made 14 arrests Friday of the 23 offenders they were looking for in Warren and Simpson Counties. Director Tommy Loving says the arrests were without incident.
Kentucky State Police troopers are rounding up hundreds of drug suspects in what the state's lead police agency calls the largest one-day drug crackdown in its history.
State police officials said Friday that posts across the state are expected to arrest 479 people. The arrests are expected to result in 774 charges in a state plagued by drug abuse.
State police Commissioner Rodney Brewer says the roundup called Operation Black Friday is the result of tips. Among the tipsters was a mother whose son is a drug addict. Brewer says her tips led to the arrest of the alleged drug dealer selling to her son.
Brewer says the charges involve such drugs as marijuana, heroin, prescription drugs and methamphetamine.
Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green are searching for Martin "Marty" Lewis Melton. Hewas reported missing by family members in Hart County.
Melton was last seen in a wooded area off Friendship Church Road in Hart County Monday morning. He was wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. He's described as a white male, 5'6" and 140 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Melton reportedly has numerous medical issues that could potentially render him incapable of taking care of himself. He's also wanted through Barren County for assault 4th degree and persistent felony offender 1st degree.
Anyone with any information on Melton's whereabouts is asked to contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.