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Johnson County sheriff's son faces drug charges

The son of an Eastern Kentucky sheriff is facing federal drug charges for allegedly selling methadone and cocaine in 2005.

Hoy Curtis Witten, the son of Johnson County Sheriff Bill Witten, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Pike­ville last week. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of distributing drugs in Johnson County in 2005, court records show.

Hoy Curtis Witten, 35, of Sitka, is accused of selling cocaine on Aug. 12 and methadone on Sept. 23 and Nov. 23, according to the indictment. No other details about the alleged drug transactions were available.

The indictment was the result of a three-year investigation by several police agencies, including Kentucky State Police in Pikeville, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force.

A preliminary two-day trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 16.

Witten has been released from custody under several conditions: He must attend all court hearings involving his case, submit to and pass drug tests, and continue a substance-abuse treatment program.

Witten could not be reached for comment Monday.

In a written statement, Sheriff Witten said he and his wife are “devastated” by the indictment. The sheriff says he has advised his son to cooperate fully with investigators.

“Meanwhile, we believe Hoy is innocent of these allegations and will continue to assist him in proving his innocence,” Witten said in the statement. “He is our son, and we will help him to meet the consequences of this indictment. I have fought long and hard against drug abuse and the illicit sale of drugs in Johnson County and I will continue this fight with even more vigor now that it has encroached upon my family.”

The sheriff declined to answer any questions.

According to court records, Hoy Curtis Witten pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Floyd County in 2005. He was fined $200.

In 1998, he was charged with reckless driving in Johnson County. That charge was amended to a non-moving violation and was later dismissed.