State

From lawman to accused felon. Former sheriff charged with drug trafficking.

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman.
Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman. Photo provided

Former Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman was involved in a marijuana-growing operation and possessed enough anabolic steroids to indicate he was trafficking in the drug, Kentucky State Police have charged.

A detective for the state police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit for the eastern half of the state arrested Peyman at his farm south of McKee Wednesday at 4:44 p.m. after serving a search warrant, according to the citation.

The citation said the warrant was the culmination of an investigation in which 61 marijuana plants had been found earlier growing at Peyman’s farm.

The marijuana had been harvested by two other people with whom Peyman allegedly had an agreement, according to the citation.

Police found the harvested plants drying in Peyman’s barn, the citation said.

After being read his rights, Peyman said he “had a pretty good idea” it was marijuana being stored at his barn, the arresting officer said in the document.

In addition, police searching Peyman’s house found eight vials of anabolic steroids. Peyman did not have a prescription for the steroids, according to the citation.

That large amount “is indicative of trafficking” in the substance, the citation said.

Police also found three loaded guns “strategically placed” in the house to defend Peyman’s marijuana-trafficking operation, the citation said.

Peyman was charged with cultivating marijuana and with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Both charges are Class D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison.

Peyman pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Sept. 18.

A judge set an unsecured bond of $10,000 for him. That meant he did not have to post the money to be released from jail.

Efforts to reach Peyman Thursday for comment were not successful.

Peyman served a controversial term as Jackson County sheriff before losing re-election in May 2014.

He feuded with the county fiscal court over financing for the sheriff’s department, faced state audits that found financial shortfalls and accounting problems at his office, and held up delivery of tax bills at one point.

Peyman arrested then-Judge-Executive William O. Smith during a public meeting in January 2014, accusing him of offenses that included tampering with public records, forgery and falsifying business records. Smith said the arrest was politically motivated.

A prosecutor dropped the charges and Smith sued Peyman, winning a settlement of $62,500.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

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