#WeAreKY But #ThisIsKY…Story of Elihu Shepherd

The incident leading to Gary’s killing began on a Sunday morning in August of 1993, when a helicopter on loan from the Kentucky National Guard was landed by officers of the Governor’s Marijuana Strike Force in a field adjacent to Gary Shepherd’s rural home. An officer familiar with Gary approached and told him that he was going to come in and cut down the dozen plants which were maturing around the perimeter of his property. Gary denied him entrance, saying it would happen “over [his] dead body.” Using Gary’s invocation of this metaphor as a pretext for his murder, the officer departed and called in additional officers, who covertly blockaded all routes to Gary’s house and began to monitor his movements.  LINK

In August of 1993, in Rockcastle County Kentucky, a four year old child watched his Father, Gary Shephard shot and killed by the Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police, over a few Cannabis plants which his father used for medicine for pain and PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War…

This is his story…

(Please view in its entirety)

elihu

This factual story needs to be heard by everyone that lives in Kentucky.

Yes, #WeAreKentucky BUT #ThisISKentucky

https://www.facebook.com/Jacobelihu/posts/10218238922543418

https://www.drcnet.org/guide2-95/gary.html

Fentanyl crackdown bill clears House committee

For Immediate Release

February 16, 2017

Fentanyl crackdown bill clears House committee

FRANKFORT—A bill that would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil and related drugs tied to an increase in drug overdoses in Kentucky has passed the House Judiciary Committee.

Trafficking in any amount of fentanyl, a pain killer now frequently imported for illegal street sales, and drugs derived from fentanyl as well as carfentanil—a large animal anesthetic said to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine—would carry up to 10 years in prison under House Bill 333, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill. Trafficking over certain amounts of the drugs could carry even longer sentences.

The bill would also make fentanyl derivatives—which potentially number 800 or more, state officials say–part of the same class of drugs as heroin and LSD. Those drugs are classified as Schedule I by the federal DEA which describes the drugs as having no “currently accepted medical use.”

“Whatever (fentanyl derivative) is thrown at us in the future will be a Schedule I controlled substance under Kentucky law,” if HB 333 passes, Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram told the committee.

Fentanyl, carfentanil and fentanyl derivatives are being mixed with heroin and sold on the street as heroin or other drugs. Some cities and counties have experienced dozens of overdoses in the span of a day or two because of the potency of the drugs which, Ingram said, can be disguised as pharmaceuticals like Xanax or Percocet.

“The business model for drug cartels is to mix fentanyl with heroin and make it look like (something else),” said Ingram. “It’s a much better —- for them. It’s a very deadly situation for our population.”

HB 333 would also create a felony offense called trafficking in a misrepresented controlled substance for those who pass off carfentanil, fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives as an actual pharmaceutical, like Xanax. 

Another provision in the bill would limit prescriptions for fentanyl to a three-day supply with few exceptions, said Moser. Rep. Angie Hatton, D-Pikeville, questioned how the legislation would prevent someone from getting another dose from another physician after receiving their three days’ worth. Moser said the KASPER system, which tracks prescriptions written in Kentucky for all scheduled drugs, is still in place to monitor what is prescribed.

“This language does not preclude the fact that physicians have to document with the PDMPs or prescription drug monitoring programs. KASPER is still a way to monitor… that’s still a requirement,” said Moser.

HB 333 now goes to the full House for consideration.

–END–

How police tracked down a suspected heroin dealer after a rash of overdoses in Nicholasville

By Karla Ward

kward1@herald-leader.com

 

When a narcotics detective with the Nicholasville Police Department heard about a surge in heroin overdoses in Jessamine County this week, he got busy.

The detective, also a task force officer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, notified Nicholasville Emergency Medical Services Tuesday that if there were more suspected heroin overdoses, he wanted to be notified. Within two hours, he got a call about a crash involving a suspected overdose.

Court records show that the police work that followed resulted in a federal charge Thursday against a suspected drug dealer. Jeffrey James Ruggiero was charged in U.S. District Court in Lexington with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. His first court appearance was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.

According to an affidavit, the chain of events began when emergency workers arrived on Southbrook Drive in Nicholasville at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday and found a driver, Nathaniel Brezeale, “in obvious distress with agonal breathing and eyes closed.”

Suspecting an overdose, they administered 3 milligrams of Naloxone, and the man revived.

Brezeale’s girlfriend told investigators “that he had a substance abuse problem” and that before the accident, they had been to a double-wide mobile home in Garrard County, where Brezeale went inside alone and stayed for about 10 minutes.

While driving back to Nicholasville, Brezeale began to act strangely, so she asked him to pull over. When he did, the vehicle’s front wheels went over a curb. Passersby called emergency crews.

Two DEA task force officers went to St. Joseph Jessamine and interviewed Brezeale, who told them that he had called Ruggiero that night and asked about buying heroin. He had bought from Ruggiero before, he said.

When Brezeale got to the mobile home, he told investigators, he paid $25 for a tenth of a gram of heroin, which he said Ruggiero took from a larger plastic bag of heroin. Ruggiero placed the heroin onto a piece of paper, and Brezeale snorted it before he left.

A DEA special agent went to Lancaster, found the mobile home and began surveillance about 9:40 p.m., according to the affidavit.

About five minutes later, a Chevrolet Impala left the mobile home heading toward Nicholasville, and the special agent followed. He called Nicholasville police and asked for help. Officers clocked the Impala going 64 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The Impala was stopped, but the driver wouldn’t cooperate. However, “a Nicholasville K-9 was presented to the vehicle and a positive alert was noted. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in a quantity of suspected heroin being seized,” the affidavit states.

After that, a search warrant was obtained for the mobile home on Carlotta Drive.

Just before midnight Tuesday, about five hours after Brezeale’s accident, officers from the DEA in Lexington, the Nicholasville police detective bureau and Kentucky State Police went to the mobile home and detained Ruggiero while they searched the home and outbuildings.

Police seized about 1 gram of suspected heroin, plus prescription medication, several sets of digital scales and packaging material, and Ruggiero admitted that he had sold heroin to Nathaniel Brezeale earlier in the day, according to the affidavit.

Emergency crews responded to nine overdoses in Jessamine County in a 24-hour period Monday and Tuesday.

Karla Ward: 859-231-3314, @HLpublicsafety

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article126283869.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

(WTF? You can’t make this stuff up!) Cocaine Bear Attracts Visitors To Lexington Business

                                                               (PLEASE CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO SEE THE VIDEO!)

 

LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) Lately we’ve been reporting about black bear sightings around the Commonwealth, but you can see the bear tied to one of Kentucky’s greatest conspiracies on display right here in Lexington.

Cocaine Bear spent years on the road but now he’s mounted on the back of a pick-up truck in Kentucky for Kentucky’s Fun Mall.

Whit Hyler, the co-owner of Kentucky for Kentucky, says that they only had to pay for shipping to get the bear to Kentucky from the Nevada Desert.

People are coming from all over the world to see the famous Cocaine Bear.

The bear’s story dates back to 1985, when Andrew Thornton, a true Kentucky Blue Blood, turned drug smuggler parachuted to his death over Tennessee with cocaine strapped to his body.

A black bear ate 75 pounds worth of cocaine that Thornton dropped in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Forest.

The bear overdosed and died from the estimated $15 million worth of cocaine.

The Cocaine Bear was stuffed and sold to the great Waylon Jennings, who didn’t even know the Cocaine Bear’s story; he was just a collector of such items.

Jennings sent the bear as a gift to his friend in Nevada. When that friend died, “Pablo EskoBear,” as he is now known, was then sold to a pawn shop.

Hyler located the bear and the pawn shop gave it to him.

“They just wanted to get rid of it. They were over it,” said Hyler.

He paid for the shipping, and now the bear that plays an important role in the book, ‘The Bluegrass Conspiracy’ is on Bryan Avenue.

Hyler says that Thorton’s story took play in and around Lexington.

Kentucky for Kentucky is working on giving Pablo EskoBear his own section where there will be Cocaine Bear gear.

You can see the Cocaine Bear at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

CONTINUE READING (YOU GOT TO SEE THE VIDEO!)

A new report says Kentucky has the highest percentage of children in the nation who have had a parent in jail – a situation so detrimental that a child advocate compares it to abuse

LOUISVILLE – A new report says Kentucky has the highest percentage of children in the nation who have had a parent in jail – a situation so detrimental that a child advocate compares it to abuse.

Citing a report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville reports that 13 percent of Kentucky children – 135,000 – reported in 2011-12 that they had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. That percentage is nearly double the national average of 7 percent.

Nationwide, about 5.1 million children have experienced parental incarceration, according to the report, “A Shared Sentence,” co-released by Kentucky Youth Advocates, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization. Indiana had 177,000 such children, the report says.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks said parental incarceration exacts a devastating toll on families and society at large by creating an “unstable environment” for children, with the effects being long-lasting.

“Having a parent incarcerated is a stressful, traumatic experience of the same magnitude as abuse, domestic violence and divorce,” the report said.

Brooks hopes the report’s findings bring attention to the issue.

“Policy debates about incarceration rarely focus on the impact on children,” Brooks said. “You can’t ignore a 13-percent-of-the-population problem.”

The report uses data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, the latest available.

Since that survey took place, Kentucky has enacted numerous criminal justice reforms in order to curb the growth of a prison population that had been increasing four times faster than the national average. The reforms included an expansion of alternative sentencing for nonviolent crimes.

John Tilley, secretary of the Kentucky Justice Cabinet who helped push those changes as a legislator, said they have helped level off the increase that some predicted could have reached 27,000 by 2015.

Still, the prison population in the state has continued to grow.

State jails and prisons held about 22,700 people in April, compared to 21,500 in April 2012.

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Louisville judge sends defendant to prison because drug court ‘about to be eliminated’

By Jason Riley

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Jefferson Circuit Court judge on Wednesday sent a defendant to prison instead of allowing her to get treatment in a local drug court, at least in part, he said, because drug court will soon no longer “be an option” in Kentucky.

“It’s about to be eliminated,” Chief Jefferson Judge Charlie Cunningham said in a hearing. “We don’t really have the money for it, so I’m not going to put anybody in drug court knowing that in a couple months that it’s going to cease to exist.”

Cunningham’s ruling came on the heels of testimony this week from Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton, who told legislators that proposed cuts to the court system will likely eliminate 600 jobs and shutter drug courts across the state, among other losses.

“The whole future of Kentucky’s court system hangs in the balance, and I have to make that known,” Justice Minton told the Senate budget committee Monday.

The case of Tabatha Newman’s in Jefferson County Wednesday is perhaps the first real-life example of what is in store if the budget bill passes.

Newman was in court on a motion by prosecutors to revoke her probation on drug and theft convictions, because she had been arrested on additional drug charges and failed to meet with her probation officer.

“We acknowledge she has a drug problem,” said Liam Michener, a law student working for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Michener told Cunningham that Newman has not received treatment and would continue to commit crimes if the judge didn’t take action.

Defense attorney Ryan Dischinger, who represents Newman, told Cunningham that his client had been getting drug treatment in jail since she had been arrested on the new charges in January.

“Clearly she has substance abuse issues,” Dischinger said. “I can’t hide from that.”

But Dischinger recommended that, instead of sending Newman to prison for up to three years, the judge order her to drug court where treatment could “stop the cycle of addiction.”

If sent to prison, Dischinger said, Newman would likely be released on parole soon, without having her problems fully addressed.

In drug courts, defendants remain out of prison but get close supervision and treatment and must meet goals such as finding jobs, getting an education and staying clean. Most courts across the state have drug court.

Kentucky Appeals Court Judge Irv Maze told legislators this week that losing Jefferson County’s drug court would be one of the painful casualties.

“I used to run it as the county attorney,” he said. “It is the right thing to do. It keeps people out of prison and it restores lives.”

Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed 9 percent cuts to the courts in each of the next two fiscal years.

He told WDRB in a statement last month that “Kentucky has serious financial issues to deal with, and the solution will come as a result of budgetary sacrifice on the part of many.”

Minton said closing drug court would affect about 2,500 current participants, possibly resulting in the incarceration of many of these people.

He told legislators that closing drug court programs in Kentucky right now, in the midst of the state’s drug and heroin epidemic, would “send the wrong message about our willingness to address the human aspect of this escalating problem.”

In court Wednesday, Cunningham called the possible elimination of drug courts “stupid, because the alternative is I’m going to spend a whole lot more money putting (Newman) in prison. But that’s what the General Assembly is basically saying to us.”

In an interview Wednesday, Cunningham said he believes drug courts will be among the first cuts made, before employees are laid off.

“I take people at their work when they tell me this is what will happen,” he said.

Still, Cunningham said that there is still some hope drug court will be saved and if a good candidate comes before him, he would consider the treatment option rather than prison.

Both Cunningham and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown said Newman was not a good candidate for drug court, given how many times she was arrested or skipped meetings with her probation officer.

“But we’re concerned with the potential loss of drug court because it is appropriate in certain instances,” Jones Brown said.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky considering roadside driver drug tests

 Mike Wynn, @MikeWynn_CJ 11:54 p.m. EDT September 16, 2015

DSC_0161

Above:  Schwendau, assistant director of Highway Safety Programs.

Right now, officials are only testing the kits for accuracy and reliability, administering them to volunteers after an arrest is complete. If they prove reliable, lawmakers say they will consider legislation next year to expand their use as a common part of police work.

Schwendau says police might soon use the swab kits in the same way they rely on roadside breath tests to identify drunken drivers, adding one more step to “remove that question of doubt” during a traffic stop.

Defense attorneys are more skeptical, warning that the tests could lead to invasive searches or give officers false pretense for arrests.

“They are chipping away at our rights — I just don’t know how else to put it,” said Larry “The DUI Guy” Forman, an attorney in Louisville who specializes in impaired driving cases.

Damon Preston, deputy public advocate at the Department of Public Advocacy, cautions that the courts still need to determine the reliability of the kits and what circumstances warrant their use in the field.

“The ease or simplicity of a sobriety test should never infringe upon the rights of persons to be free from unwarranted or invasive searches of their bodies,” he said.

The side of safety

The swabs don’t show a person’s level of impairment — only that drugs are present in their system. Supporters say Kentucky law would not allow them as evidence in court, and to build a case, police would still rely on the same process they currently use in investigations.

That typically involves a field sobriety test followed by an evaluation from a drug recognition expert, who is trained to monitor the suspect’s behavior and physical condition to determine their level of intoxication. Police also collect blood samples, which are much more conclusive.

Schwendau said the roadside tests could help police narrow down which drugs to test for in a blood sample. He said the kits already have proved successful in other states, particularity in California where authorities have upped the ante with digital devices precise enough to provide court evidence. That has saved the state money in the long run because more suspects are pleading out cases, he said.

On his website, Forman advises people to refuse field sobriety tests and breathalyzers to improve their chances of a successful defense in court. If swabs become commonplace in Kentucky, Forman says, drivers should refuse them as well.

One problem, he argues, could occur when people use drugs earlier in the day but are pulled over after the effects have worn off. He cited concerns that the swab could still test positive even though a driver is no longer under the influence.

Forman also questions how variations in temperature or allowing kits to sit in a hot police car for long periods might affect the results.

“It just gets really, really hairy, really fast,” he said.

But Schwendau points out that drivers who are not impaired will be vindicated in later tests. He also worries that while most people know it’s wrong to get behind the wheel drunk, many still think it’s OK to take an extra prescription pill before driving.

“We are doing it to save lives and get risks off the road,” he said. For police, “the best decision I think always is to err on the side of safety.”

Deadly risks

According to Kentucky State Police, authorities suspected that drugs were a factor in nearly 1,600 traffic collisions across the state last year, resulting in 939 injuries and 214 deaths.

In some areas struggling with epidemic drug abuse, high drivers are more common than drunken drivers, according to Van Ingram, head of the Office of Drug Control Policy. A lot of areas are having problems with drivers who are intoxicated on both drugs and alcohol, he said.

House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, said lawmakers will want to look at the highway safety office’s pilot project before putting forth any legislation. Still, he reasons that the swabs also could help exclude drivers who might otherwise fall suspect because they swerved accidentally.

Officials have distributed 100 kits for the pilot tests, which they hope to wrap up in October.

Schwendau said he will bring the results to a state task force on impaired driving along with the Governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety.

Even if the kits are approved and adopted, police face a cost of $7 per unit.

Schwendau said local communities would have to choose whether to use them since the kits are too expensive for the state to provide. But departments could apply for federal grants, he said.

“It’s not our place to force it on them,” Schwendau said. “We just want to offer them a better tool.”

Reporter Mike Wynn can be reached at (502) 875-5136. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeWynn_CJ.

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