GRAVES COUNTY - Nearly $2.5 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine has been taken off the streets of Western Kentucky following a joint investigation by several area law enforcement agencies, including Marshall County.
Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon reports that in late September of 2013, a joint drug trafficking investigation was initiated by the Graves County Sheriff’s Office, McCracken County Sheriff’s Office, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
The end result was one of the largest seizures of crystal methamphetamine (more than 53 pounds of crystal methamphetamine) to have ever occurred in Kentucky as well as the seizure of numerous guns, marijuana, approximately $90,000 in US Currency and the arrest of five Western Kentucky residents.
Police reports indicate the departments had received information alleging that John Slingland and Abbie Jones, both of Water Valley, were involved in the upper level distribution of methamphetamine.
The information received alleged that Richard O’Mar was also involved in trafficking illegal drugs as well as the trading of guns. Both Slingland and Omar are convicted felons with prior drug offenses.
During the course of the investigation, detectives located Slingland and Jones’ residence in southern Graves County as well as other properties in which they had an interest in.
Omar’s residence and another possible location of illegal drugs and guns were also located in Hickman and Carlisle Counties.
The investigation quickly progressed to the respective agencies purchasing quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Slingland and Jones. The location of properties in Tennessee and Kentucky were again confirmed during this course of the investigation.
On the morning of October 4, personnel from the already mentioned agencies as well as the Kentucky State Police, the United States Marshalls Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at the Slingland and Jones’ residence on Kingston Road in southern Graves County.
During the execution of the search warrant, Slingland attempted to hide from officials but was taken into custody. A search of the property was conducted and approximately two pounds of crystal methamphetamine, more than five pounds of marijuana, 25 firearms and over $50,000 in US Currency, believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales, was seized.
Law enforcement seized five vehicles from Slingland and Jones that are believed to be used to distribute the methamphetamine in Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois.
As law enforcement continued to search the residence, a vehicle driven by Jamie Readnour was observed in the area on numerous occasions. The vehicle was later stopped by Graves County Sheriff’s deputies and Readnour was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI. A search of her vehicle revealed a quantity of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The investigation continued as agents went to a residence in Northwest Tennessee and seized an additional fifty-one (51) pounds of highly concentrated crystal methamphetamine. The stash house was identified as a piece of property that had been rented by Slingland and Jones to facilitate their drug trafficking.
As the day progressed, law enforcement continued to follow leads from their investigation as the Kentucky State Police obtained a search warrant for Richard Omar’s residence on State Route 703 in Clinton, KY. During that search warrant, over $38,000 (believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales), over five pounds of marijuana, 16 firearms, and more crystal methamphetamine was located and seized.
While at the residence, detectives arrested Jeffery Creason, a brother to Richard O’Mar. Detectives located O’Mar hiding in a garage on Moss Road in Hickman County and arrested him without incident. As the night continued, law enforcement conducted a subsequent investigation at another location on Bugg Road in Hickman County and seized an additional shotgun believed to be owned by Richard O’Mar as well as a short barreled assault style rifle.
The methamphetamine seized in this case has an estimated street value of $2,400,900. Methamphetamine is generally sold by the gram and normally goes for $100 per gram on the street. Those arrested were lodged in the jails in their respective counties. John Slingland was arrested on a federal indictment warrant and lodged in the Christian County Jail.
Abbie G. Jones, 53, was charged with trafficking in Methamphetamine, trafficking in Marijuana over 5lbs and possession of drug paraphernalia and lodged in the Graves County Jail.
John C. Slingland, 69, was federally charged with possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and lodged in the Christian County Jail.
Jamie Readnour, 34, of Wingo was charged with DUI, possession of Meth and drug paraphernalia and lodged in the Graves County Jail.
Richard O’Mar, 55, of Fulgham was charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of handgun/firearm by a convicted felon and lodged in the Hickman County Jail.
Jeffery Creason, 50 of Fulgham was charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of handgun/firearm by a convicted felon and lodged in the Hickman County Jail.
Additional charges and arrests are likely in the near future. The Hickman County Sheriff’s Office and the Carlisle Graves County Sheriff's Office also assisted in the second wave of this investigation.
Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Detective Sergeant Kevin Mighell said efforts like substantiate the ongoing need for a functioning task force in Western Kentucky despite the downsizing of the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force.
He added that while the arrests occurred in Graves County, drugs were being distributed in Marshall and surrounding counties, as well as Tennessee.