Pike County dispatcher and deputy is arrested in drug case

A man who works as a dispatcher and deputy for the Pike County Sheriff's Office has been arrested in a drug case, according to Operation UNITE.

Matthew Blanton, 33, of Pikeville worked mainly as a dispatcher for the department but also is a sworn deputy, according to a news release.

Blanton and Bradley Childers, 34, also of Pikeville, were charged with trafficking in drugs in the case.

An undercover UNITE detective working with an informant in the Marrowbone community bought pain pills from Childers on Wednesday afternoon, said Paul Hays, UNITE's law-enforcement director.

Blanton was with Childers at the time but was not on duty, according to the news release.

Childers later became suspicious and allegedly asked Blanton to try to identify the detective. Blanton also helped Childers learn the name of the informant helping police, the release said.

Childers contacted the witness Wednesday and threatened him, Hays said.

Police began an investigation of the threat and arrested Childers early Thursday, then arrested Blanton about 11 a.m. Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee said he had placed Blanton on leave without pay until UNITE finishes the investigation, according to the release.