Crime

Councilman who criticized “Blue Lives Matter” logo on police vehicles now faces drug charges

A close up view of the Punisher and “Blue Lives Matter” logo that was removed from Catlettsburg police vehicles last month after a public backlash.
A close up view of the Punisher and “Blue Lives Matter” logo that was removed from Catlettsburg police vehicles last month after a public backlash. falfonso@herald-leader.com

A Catlettsburg city councilman, who criticized the expense of adding a Punisher logo to eight police vehicles, is one of three people facing charges as part of a lengthy drug-trafficking investigation.

Multiple news outlets report that Richard “Andy” Brown, 37, was arrested Saturday with Tammy Salyers and Stephen Salyers, both 53.

Brown, who was elected to the six-person council in the 2016 general election, objected late last month when large decals featuring “Blue Lives Matter” and the Punisher skull were added to eight police vehicles by the city police chief, Cameron Logan. Logan said the decals were intended to convey that officers would take “any means necessary to keep our community safe” with drug-related crimes on the rise.

The Punisher is the nom de guerre of the Marvel antihero Frank Castle, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran who uses torture and violence to deliver justice.

Logan removed the decals after public backlash in the wake of an article in the Herald-Leader about the logos. Brown, who was not on the council when it gave its approval to the logos, said at the time, “I don’t see why they’d waste the money, honestly. My main objective is to make sure the taxpayers’ money is used in the most efficient way possible. It wasn’t expensive, but still.”

Brown, who grew up in Catlettsburg and whose family owns the IGA in town, and the Salyerses were charged with trafficking a controlled substance, which police say was meth. They’re also charged with trafficking a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school zone, possession of a controlled substance. and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned on March 27.

Police say detectives made several undercover drug purchases from inside and outside a home that belonged to Brown and is near a school.

Logan, the police chief, said he expects there to be more arrests.

It was unclear whether any of the suspects had an attorney.

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