Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:45PM - 627 Views
Jack Latta

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PRESTONSBURG — Three Floyd County men have been arrested and another is at large, after Kentucky State Police busted an auto theft ring last month at Caney Fork.

Times staff reported in April that Kentucky State Police had received a tip about a stolen coal truck, but when they arrived on the scene, they found much more. Officers also found four doors, a hood and a trunk lid from a Lincoln Navigator that had been reported stolen in Prestonsburg, a 1975 Chevy log truck, a 2007 Jeep Liberty stolen in Prestonsburg, and the title of a 1996 GMC Jimmy that had been stolen in Martin County.

Arrest warrants were issued for four men believed connected to the ring of auto thefts.

“They found that these four folks worked together, took that 1996 mack truck belonging to Darnell Trucking,” said Assistant County Attorney Tyler Green. “Then they assisted each other in cutting up the truck and selling off the parts.”

As of press time, three of the men had been arrested and were awaiting their preliminary hearings.

Billy J. Shepherd, 38, of David, was arrested at East Point last week and and charged with theft by unlawful taking (over $10,000), criminal trespassing, persistent felony offender, and trafficking in stolen vehicles or vehicle parts. During the arrest, police suspected Shepherd was also trafficking in narcotics, and requested a body cavity search of his person. Following the search, which was performed at Highlands Regional Medical Center, Shepherd was additionally charged with three counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, after a plastic bag containing heroin, cocaine and oxycodone was removed.

Kevin Ousley, 24, of Martin, was served with a warrant charging him with theft by unlawful taking (over $10,000) and trafficking in stolen vehicles/vehicle parts.

Matthew Ousley, 31, of Martin, was also served with warrants charging him with theft by unlawful taking (over $10,000) and trafficking in stolen vehicles/vehicle parts. He was additionally charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, and prescription controlled substance not in original container.

Both the Ousleys and Shepherd are scheduled to appear in court May 13 for a preliminary hearing.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Shepherd’s brother, Thomas Shepherd, who is also facing charges of theft by unlawful taking (over $10,000), trafficking in stolen vehicle/vehicle parts, persistent felony offender, and fleeing or evading police.

Green said that the case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about the case or the whereabouts of Thomas Shepherd is asked to call the Kentucky State Police at (606) 433-7711.

This case remains under investigation by Officer Dennis Hutchinson, with Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

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