Six Whitley County residents are indicted on drug-distribution charges

shopkins@herald-leader.comApril 8, 2011 

A federal grand jury has indicted six Whitley County residents on charges of distributing oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Charles F. Fritts Jr., 50, was charged with one count each of conspiracy; aiding and abetting co-defendants in the distribution of controlled substances; and being a felon in possession of a handgun, and four counts of distributing a controlled substance, the indictment said.

Nikita Nichole Evans, 25, and James A. Meradith, 34, were charged with conspiring with Fritts to distribute a controlled substance. Evans and Jason A. Kersey, 25, were charged with aiding and abetting Fritts in distributing a controlled substance. And Doyle Stanford Fritts, 46, and Larry Lee Fritts, 48, were charged with distributing a controlled substance.

Doyle Fritts was also charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun, the indictment says.

A date has not been set for the defendants to appear in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

According to a sworn statement filed in federal court, Meradith told federal authorities that he began supplying pain pills to then-Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge about December 2009.

Hodge has said he doesn't know Meradith, had never gotten pills from him and does not abuse drugs. Hodge has not been charged in the case.

Meradith also said he sold a former Williamsburg police chief several OxyContin pain pills a day over an eight-month period beginning in spring 2010.

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