On Wednesday, March 4th, the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with the Kentucky State Police DESI (Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations) division, the Kentucky State Police SRT (Special Response Team), and the US Dept. of Homeland Security, served a high-risk arrest warrant for drug trafficking on 816 Sanders Rd.
Arrested in the raid were Vernon Jeffrey Patton, 52, of Bee Spring, and Verlon S. Harder, 49, also of Bee Spring. Due to Patton's criminal history of Manslaughter and Assault-related charges, along with threats that had been made to law enforcement during prior encounters, The Sheriff's Office partnered with the KSP SRT team to make the arrest.
Harder was detained first after attempting to escape, and then after a very brief standoff, the SRT deployed flash-bang grenades and tear gas into the residence, forcing Patton to surrender. After obtaining consent to search the residence, a gun, some drugs, and methamphetamine precursor was found. Officers had to use personal respirators due to the tear gas in the home.
Sheriff Shane Doyle, who coordinated the bust gave credit to a complete team effort. "We're very proud to be able to work with all these other agencies. Any time local, state, and federal officers can work together, the county benefits."
The DESI division is carrying all new charges due to the location of the residence being partly in Edmonson County and partly in Grayson County. Both Patton and Harder were indicted by a Grand Jury in February, and due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, the indictment was sealed. The Sheriff's Department's case involved methamphetamine trafficking via undercover drug buys. The US Dept. of Homeland Security is also considering Federal prosecution on the firearm charge, because of the previous felonies that are on Patton's record.
Since the Sheriff's Office withdrew from the Drug Task Force last fall, some county residents have voiced concerns about the ability to fight drug activity. "We are committed to fighting against the drug problems that face our county," Doyle said. "Methamphetamine is a plague on our nation and we are trying to do our part to fight it."
Edmonson Voice Staff