PRESTONSBURG — A year’s worth of evidence went up in smoke Wednesday, as Sheriff John K Blackburn and deputies carried out a court order to destroy drugs seized in 65 cases.
The drugs, which included marijuana and a wide variety of prescription pills, were all purchased by officers working in undercover operations. Blackburn said the evidence included $150,000 worth of drugs from 65 criminal cases, which sent 40 people to prison.
“After they go to court and then get convictions, then we get a destruction order to come out and burn the drugs, to get them out of storage and get them off the street, to make sure there’s not any more out there,” Blackburn said. “We’re still continuing to do it and still making buys. We’re going to keep fighting this problem we have.”
Blackburn said his office investigates drug activity with particular zeal.
“It is so much fun doing these undercover buys,” Blackburn said. “I just love it when we’re able to bust someone who was about to ruin somebody’s life.”
Blackburn also said enforcement and regulatory efforts in both Kentucky and Florida have put a clampdown on some local drug activity, but dealers are simply casting their nets a little wider.
“It’s slowed down a little bit in Floyd County, the pain clinics have, but they’re going to Virginia, Tennessee,” Blackburn said. “Florida is slowed down some, but they’re going to Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.”