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Nighbert's son indicted on burglary, drug-conspiracy charges

Two Williamsburg men, including the son of a former state transportation secretary, were indicted last week on charges of burglary to steal controlled substances, U.S. Attorney Edwin Walbourn III said in a news release Thursday.

According to the release, former Williamsburg police Officer Kenneth Nighbert, 32, who is the son of Bill Nighbert, and Larry Harville, 30, burglarized a Whitley County pharmacy in February 2006 and stole $500 worth of drugs. Both men also have been charged with conspiracy. Kenneth Nighbert was an officer when the burglary occurred, the release said.

Nighbert and Harville — along with Williamsburg natives Michael S. Ball, 35; Branden R. Sutton, 32; Shannon Lee Taylor, 28; and Tina Elizabeth Davis, 31 — also were indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute oxycodone in Whitley County from December 2005 to May 2007, the release said.

In addition, Nighbert was indicted on charges of attempted possession of oxycodone, possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.

In April 2006, Nighbert crashed his cruiser into a woman's car while he was on duty. Nighbert later tested positive for oxycodone and cocaine.

He later resigned as a police officer, but his legal problems continued. In May 2007, Nighbert was arrested on charges that included trafficking in controlled substances after Laurel County sheriff's deputies found him with $32,000 in cash and OxyContin pills. He was later sentenced to five years in prison.

Harville, Ball, Sutton and Davis also were charged with various drug trafficking offenses, ranging from distribution of pills containing oxycodone to manufacturing marijuana. Ball also was indicted on a charge of distributing narcotics within 1,000 feet of a school.

The defendants' court dates have not been set. If convicted, they could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.