"I would be a little surprised if any of his neighbors knew he was in this type of game," says Lt. Chip White of the Madisonville Police Dept. Very few knew what eric melton was allegedly up to.
"There's always a few that you just don't know."
Police call him one of the largest meth distributors in the region. His business dealings were sly, very rarely getting in legal trouble.
It's others caught with drugs, White says, that lead to Melton's arrest.
"We might hear names, certain names, that might lead our investigators into certain directions, and, in this case, it led us high up the chain," he says.
The so called top of the chain has three homes. Police arrested Melton at his Pennyrile Drive address last month and seized nearly 13 pounds of meth. White says it's the largest amount yet.
"A typical street officer might find a person with 2-3 grams or maybe up to an eighth of an ounce," he says. "That would be a decent arrest for a street officer. When you start talking multiple pounds, it's a very large seizure."
Meanwhile, some neighbors say they're glad to know something's being done about the region's meth epidemic.
"I'm glad that the cops are doing their job and they're making arrests where they need to be, and cracking down on it so that we can have a safer neighborhood," says Cheryl Fackler of Madisonville. Investigators say more arrests are possible in other parts of the Tri-State and in other nearby areas.