Tribune-Courier News Reporter
Following a four-month joint investigation by the Marshall County and Calloway County Sheriff’s Departments, deputies have arrested several subjects for using and trafficking heroin throughout the two counties.
The investigation concluded last Wednesday with the execution of a search warrant on the residence of Michael A. Taylor, 24, of Murray, where detectives seized approximately 1.5 grams of heroin, $1,052 in cash, two firearms and digital scales.
Following the search, Calloway County deputies arrested and charged Taylor with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin).
The search of Taylor’s residence in Murray led Marshall County deputies to arrest three other people in connection to the drug ring, including Travis A. Thorpe, Evan Guinard, Amanda Lagore and led them to cite Jeremy K. Lagore.
Thorpe, 23, of Benton, was arrested for first-degree trafficking in controlled substance (heroin), tampering with physical evidence, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Guinard, 26, of Benton, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Amanda Lagore, 23, of Paducah, was arrested for first-degree posession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked operators license.
Jeremy K. Lagore, 29, of Paducah, was cited for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper equipment and failure to use or improper use of turn signal while operating a motor vehicle.
The arrests in Marshall and Calloway counties last week came as little surprise to Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars who reported heroin has been slowly making its way into the county during the past several months.
He said during the last three months of 2013 the narcotics division of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office seized 13 grams of heroin with a street value of $3,250 and seized $1,200 as a result of drug trafficking.
Byars predicts heroin will be the drug law enforcement will have to watch out for the most in 2014.
“It’s more easily accessible,” he said. “The strain is nothing like it was in the 60s. It’s extremely powerful and a lot of people are OD’ing on the first try. The DEA has already deemed the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area the distribution area for the United States for heroin so I think it’s safe to assume it’s going to trickle over this way.”
Byars said the drug trade in Kentucky is typically tied to motorcycle gangs and the Cartel, but meth and heroin usage isn’t tied to socioeconomic status, class, race, age or sex.
“It gets everyone. Women use meth for the weight loss benefits. Some use it to stay up all night,” he said. “We just don’t know the appeal to the heroin yet, but I do know the strain is a lot more powerful and it’s a lot easier to get a hold of than it used to be.”
Byars said meth has been the biggest problem in Marshall County for years, taking up most of the Narcotics Divisions’ time but he worries that might change if heroin becomes more prevalent.
In 2013, the unit seized 106 pounds of methamphetamine at a street value of $7,123,200 and seized $479,000 as a result of drug trafficking cases.
“The two I’ve got working for me in the Narcotics Division work tirelessly to protect our communities and our kids and although we’re never going to be able to completely eliminate drugs in our community, they do a great job of slowing it down,” he said. “We’re going to keep doing all we can do to eliminate drugs in our region and we work well with the other agencies in our area, which is also extremely important.”