Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
July 28, 2010     Bath County News - Outlook
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July 28, 2010

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!PAPERS VE SW 1208 57p m By George Lewis & Charles Mattox News Reporter George~bathconewsoutlook.com chades~hec~lislemercury.com Police say there's a Sharpsburg, connection in the so-called pill pipe- line from Kentucky" to Florida. Angela Hedges 35, of Sharpsburg, is charged with one count of traf- ticking in a controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense. Police say Hedges, who according to Transporta- tion Cabinet Public Af- fairs Officer Chuck Wolfe, is an accountant for the Kentucky Department of Transportation, District 7 office in Lexington, orga- nized and funded a road trip to a pain clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., where three of her four compan- Angelo Hedges ions obtained illicit pre- scriptions for Oxycontin, a strong narcotic pain- killer, from a doctor. They came away with prescriptions for 360 pills, police said, and when they tried to fill them at a CVS pharmacy in Louisville, a pharma- cist became suspicious of the out-of-state scripts and called police. In addition to Hedges, David Bascon, 49, of Lou- By Charles Mattox News Editor chartes@thecarlislemercury.com Under the condition of also used pain pills recre- ationally. Both say money drives the market. Tom: "Your talking anonymity, two individu- about easy money that als, who have participated has gone on for years. in the black market pain That's where it all start- pill trade, which current- ed. People are going to Florida because it's easy ly has a strangle hold on northeastern Kentucky, spoke at different times about the market as they understand it and how and why an entire region has fallen under its influ- ence. 'Tom and Bob' as they will be called, are white men between the ages of 40-50. Both have lived in northeastern Kentucky almost all of their lives. Both have used pain pills as a result of medi- cal need and following surgery, and both have money even though Doc- tors in Florida will charge $100-$300 just for an of- fice call." Tom also spoke about "corrupt cops" and there have been recent arrests involving Rowan and Lewis County law en- forcement officers that allegedly were involved in the black market pain pill industry. "Anytime you create a black market you create corruption. People don't understand how much money some people in law enforcement are pocket- Michael Skeens isville; Keith Markland, 37,. Louisville; Michael Skeens, 35, of Clearfield; and Patricia Stacy, 35, of Sharpsburg, have each been arl~ted and charged with one count each of traf- ticking in a controlled sub- stance. Markland, on his My Space page, says. he's a 1992 graduate of Bath County High Schcol. Investigators portray Hedges as the ringleader, saying she organized and ing," Tom said. "As long as there is a black market some law enforcement of- ricers are willing to make some extra money." Bob's thought's echoed those of Tom's " Some police are more crookeder than a crook," Bob said. Bob said each trip to Florida was lucrative. "You can get 230 of the 90 milligram oxycontin pills each trip," he said while stating that oxy- contin pills were the most powerful and most expen- sive on the market. When it was mentioned that over 20 people in Bath County had died as a direct or indirect cause of pain pills, Bob was asked if doctors shared the responsibility of the deaths. Bob compared the anal- ogy to someone who sells Patricia Stacy funded previous pill-seek- trips. The arrests oc- curred the weekend of July 17-18, according to police. The following Monday, Louisville narcotics investi- gators, including Sgt. john McGuire of the Metro Nar- cotics division, executed a search warrant at Hedges Farmhouse near Sharps- burg, confiscated pills and cited one person but made no arrests, aocording to Kentucky State Police, who mm ammunition or firearms and how they should not be responsible for anyone who used a bullet or gun to commit suicide. "Get real, man," Bob said. "Doctors don't want to see anyone kill them- selves, they want to see them next month so they can get some more cash. Some doctors are going to write as many prescrip- tions as 'they can. That's how they are getting their money." And Bob said cash is what drives the market and even causes some who make the trip to Florida to "shop around" at different pharmacies in different states to get the 'best deal" on filling their prescription. Bob says different pharmacies in different states charge a different price for the same number and brand assisted in the raid. "We were there to assist them," said veteran Ken- tucky State Police Officer, Sgt. Jim Bowling, of KSP Post 8, Morehead. "We did find a small amount of drugs, particularly pain pills." KSP detectives from DESI (drug enforcement special investigations) east and DESI west, along with another KSP officer, joined Metro Police Officers and Bowling on the scene. Sgt. Bowling spoke frank- ly about the pain pill black market. '2n my opinion we're fighting a tough battle," Bowling said. Bowling also commented on the destructive pain pills. ' rhey're killing people and ruining lives," he said. Florida is known as a of pain pill. Bob said anyone who used any pain pills (oxy- contin, percocet and lo- ratab are the most pop- ular pills, according to Bob) recreationally was "flirting with disaster," though he admitted he himself used the drugs when not in need of them for pain. "It's the best feeling there is. And people will use them as long as they make them." Bob said the black mar- ket wasn't just'about money, but was also about sex. ' With some people sex is a motivator to be- come involved," he said. ' Women become less in- hibited and become more sexually aggressive." When asked to esti- mate how many citizens from Bath, Nicholas, leading source for the ille- gal purchase of prescription drugs. Addicts and dealers from across the southeast have flocked to sunshine state pain clinics, which have become notorious for freely doling out narcotics with little or no medical justification. With the in- crease in usage has come an increase in deaths. Bath County Coroner Robert Powell said there have been 22 deaths in Bath County in the past 36 months that can be linked directly or in- directly to overdoses of pain pills or pail pill abuse. Florida has seen a 249 percent increase in over- dose deaths-in the past five years, according to the Florida department of Law Enforcement. SEE PIPELINE PAGE 5 Fleming, Robertson and Menifee County, are reg- ularly going to Florida to acquire pain pills, both Bob and Tom replied "hundreds." Bob said the pain pill black market industry was far more popular than any other, and said, "Anyone over the age of 22 could easily find pain pills. They are more available than marijua- na. You'll find 'perc 30s' before you can find a bag of rag weed." When asked if people who didn't use the drugs but were only financ- ing the market were in- volved, Bob was quick to reply. "Hell yes. They know if they put out $900 they can easily get back $2,000. Pain pills are a better investment than gold." l! By George Lewis News Reporter George@bathconewsoutlook.com In 1944, a salesman for a popular greeting- card company coined the slogan: "When you care enough to send the very best." Now, a small and spritely group of Bath countians send the very best by making their own greeting cards from scratch as members of a card club, which meets at the Bath County Me- morial Library. Hallmark, take heed: and sometimes slightly smart-alecky sayings; ribbons; bobbles; bows and myriad other em- bellishments. It's all very much like scrapbooking in minia- ture. Card making is cer- tainly a creative art form, which you can readily tell from the handiwork of the group's mentor, Brenna Stamm. Brenna, who helped form the Club about a year ago, is an indepen- Your services may no pany, which markets its longer be required. The card clubbers gather monthly around a table laden with the tools of their craft: stickers; rubber stamps and rollers bearing in- grandmother's sewing box. ''You can get lost in it," Brenna said. "It's addictive." Becoming a card art- ist requires a relatively nominal initial invest- ment, basically just black ink and card stock. As your imagination and expertise expand, you'll likely spend more and more time browsing the Stampin' Up! catalogue with stars and color schemes in your eyes. The card clubbers dent demonstrator for who gathered this day the Stampin'Up! corn- seemed to have happily tricate designs, cute images (such as the tures fabric remnants, ever-popular hoot owl) buttons and the like she and heartfelt, catchy, salvaged from her late put their cares aside as arts-and-crafts wares they stamped and taped, worldwide. The card swapped ideas and good- world she has created naturedly goaded each reads more like an artother. journal tracing the fab- "You've got the wrong ric of her life. One of her end!" one card clubber intricately folded three- exclaimed to another. dimensional cards fea-If you're interested in joining the club, you may contact the library at 674-2531. RIGHT: Beware: Making greeting cards often leads to scrapbooking. But unlike unhealthful pursuits, you needn't say no. LEFT: From left, Brenna Stamm, who mentors the card clubbers,is joined by Sarah Staten and Jerri Highley as Cynthia Rogers leafs through a greeting card that's really more like a scrap- book. Also participating in the card club were Holly Howard and Brenda Vance.