HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) – Four people have been arrested in connection with a large-scale drug trafficking ring in Hopkins County.
Authorities arrested 29-year-old James Gibson, 36-year-old Joshua Betar, 24-year-old Zach Massey, and 36-year-old Kenneth Vannoy.
Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement and Madisonville-Hopkins County Vice/Narcotics Unit have been investigating the drug trafficking ring involving the manufacturing and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids since the spring.
Over the months-long investigation, Gibson and Betar became the primary suspects.
Detectives used sources to buy large amounts of these synthetic cannabinoids and powder/chemical from Gibson and Betar.
Throughout the investigation, detectives say Gibson was using Betar to distribute his products to several individuals, including Massey and Vannoy.
Detectives searched Gibson’s home on Valley Drive in Madisonville. They seized about 820 grams of suspected synthetic powder/chemical, digital scales, a large amount of cash, 14 firearms (one stolen gun), and suspected drug ledgers.
Detectives also seized the suspects’ vehicles.
Authorities say 820 grams would manufacture over 100 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids.
All four suspects are being held in the Hopkins County Jail.
Gibson is charged with three counts of trafficking synthetic drugs, engaging in organized crime, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance. He’s being held on a $30,000 bond.
Betar and Massey are charged with three counts of trafficking synthetic drugs and engaging in organized crime.
Betar was being held on a $10,000 bond, but has since bonded out. Massey has also since bonded out of jail.
Vannoy is charged with engaging in organized crime. He’s being held on a $10,000 bond.
This is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are expected.
(This story was originally published on September 19, 2019)