Operation UNITE

Regional
2:35 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Kentucky High Court Hears Arguments on Drug Case Investigated by AG's Office, Operation UNITE

The Kentucky Supreme Court is considering a case that could have a major impact on criminal investigations in the commonwealth.

Floyd Grover Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on multiple drug trafficking charges in Powell County.

But in his appeal, Floyd successfully argued that because the investigation leading to his indictment was conducted solely by uninvited law enforcement agencies outside of Powell County—including detectives from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and officers working for Operation UNITE, an anti-drug enforcement non-profit founded by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers—then his 2009 indictment should be moot.

In oral arguments before the Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said that if Floyd's appeal is upheld, it could have severe implications for his office's ability to investigate a wide range of cases, from drug trafficking to child pornography.

"What is particularly concerning to the office of the Attorney General is to accept the ... argument would be to make the office of the Attorney General nothing more than a clerk for your local prosecutors, your local city council," Conway said. "I guess someone working at Walmart would have more investigative authority than the office of the Attorney General who’s given peace officer status.”

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