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Man denies selling pot at Nicholasville businesses

NICHOLASVILLE — The Nicholasville City Commission will consider revoking the business licenses of a man accused of using his pawn shop and drywall operations for the delivery and distribution of marijuana.

But John T. Richardson said he intends to fight the revocation request. The criminal case has been referred to a grand jury, but Richardson has not been indicted or convicted, according to Jessamine court records.

"That's the bad part about this," Richardson said. "You're guilty until proven innocent."

The commission is scheduled to take up the matter at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall, Nicholasville Police Chief Barry Waldrop said.

At issue is whether the commission should revoke the licenses of Pop's Pawn on East Maple Street and Richardson Drywall Enterprises on Savannah Drive.

On Dec. 10, police charged Richardson, 43, with trafficking in more than 5 pounds of marijuana. Police seized nearly 23 pounds of pot.

"He was getting it from someplace and having it delivered," Waldrop said. "It was delivered to the pawnshop, and plus he has admitted the drywall business is where he would distribute it and break it down in pounds and sell it."

Waldrop said he will argue that the licenses should be revoked "because I don't think a drug dealer should be operating a business within the city limits where he's had drugs delivered, plus where he's processing and selling the drugs. To me, he has a hidden agenda for the businesses. It's not true what he says they're there for."

Richardson said the pawnshop had been open only a little more than a week at the time of the police search.

"I didn't hide anything," he said.

Ron Bowling, the Lexington attorney who represents Richardson in the criminal case, said he does not intend to represent him in the revocation matter.

"From his standpoint, it just seems like a rush to judgment," Bowling said. "Certainly, we believe when the facts come out it's not going to be as bad as it appears on the surface."

Waldrop said the city commission will sometimes wait to act on a revocation request until there is a court conviction.

Police also charged Noel H. Gutierrez, 47, with trafficking in marijuana. His case also was referred to a grand jury for possible indictment.