Police have arrested 22 people on drug-trafficking charges in Elliott County since June 24, and 20 others were arrested on drug-related charges in Letcher County on Thursday.
Kentucky State Police in Morehead said in a news release Thursday that an Elliott County grand jury had indicted 53 people after an 18-month investigation.
Of the 22 people who have been arrested in Elliott County, 14 have turned themselves in, the news release said.
Christopher Spears, Terry Sparks, Bobby Skaggs, Jody Holbrook, Leslie Fraley, Danny R. Bowling, Tabitha New some, Ryan Ison, Mary Ison, Carl Ratliff, Greg Matthews, Lynvel Conn, Natasha Wagoner, Rhoda Lewis and Billy Jo Wagoner each were charged with one count of first-degree trafficking of a controlled substance, according to the release.
Brandy Flannery, Robert Stevens, Steven Ison, Deborah Wagoner and Donald Cassell each were charged with two counts of first-degree trafficking. Curtis Winkleman and James Newsome were charged with three counts.
They all were taken to the Johnson County Detention Center in Paintsville.
The KSP news release said more arrests will follow.
The KSP in Hazard, the Letcher County Sheriff's Department, Drug Enforcement Special Investigations, HIDTA Drug Task Force and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement began arresting people in Letcher County about 7 a.m. Thursday.
Forty-nine warrants were issued from a six-month investigation, and 20 were executed Thursday, a KSP news release said.
Arrested Thursday were Brittany Golda Collins, Terry Chris Cantrell Jr., John Russell Simmons, Jerry Alden Hall, Patricia M. Slone, Mitchell Alan Sanders, Jeffrey Lynn Sexton, Jatanna Griffie, Stephen Buddy Hall, Peggy Collins Jones, Michael Wayne Sexton, Randall Holbrook, Edgar Lucas, Roy Eldridge, James Fox, Claude Eldridge Jr., Bert Dale Holbrook, Claude V. Meade, Harold D. Meade and Patricia Amburgey Bowling. A criminal summons was served on Deavin Nicole Bentley.
Those arrested in Letcher were taken to the Letcher County Jail.