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‘Operation Silent Sweep’ nabs another one

Nickolas Jones

Nickolas Jones

A Bryant’s Store man managed to avoid capture for nearly two months while wanted for charges of drug trafficking.

During December’s “Operation Silent Sweep,” an arrest warrant was filed for Nickolas Jones, 27. The operation was organized by Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Barbourville Police Department and Knox County Operation UNITE, to help rid the county of drug trafficking. Jones was unable to be located during the operation, so Knox County deputies were eager to investigate a claim that Jones was at a residence on Pitzer Street in Barbourville.

Deputies Keith Liford, Chad Wagner, Claude Hudson and Constable Reed Murphy responded to the residence. Inside, they found Jones attempting to flee by jumping out of a second-story window. Deputies apprehended Jones before he could escape.
At the residence, deputies found what was suspected to be methamphetamine, along with several ingredients used to manufacture the drug and several syringes.

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Grand Jury returns over 40 indictments

Knox County courts had their hands full Wednesday, with more than 40 indictments handed down. Because state offices were closed Friday, Jan. 22, due to an official ‘state of emergency,’ indictments were pushed back to Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The Knox County Grand Jury returned the following indictments: 

• Jeffery Brown, 43, of Dewitt: First degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Roy Robert Russ, 46, of Artemus: Three counts of first degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first degree persistent felony offender.

• James Robers, 54, of Woodbine: First degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

• Harley D. Smith, 29, of Frankfort: Second degree escape, first degree persistent felony offender.

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Escaped convict back behind bars

Harley David Smith

Harley David Smith

Harley David Smith’s flee from police came to an end when he was apprehended by the Dayton Police Department in Ohio.

In November 2015, Smith, 29, of Frankfort, was temporarily placed in the Knox County Detention Center as a jail trustee while waiting to be sentenced as a state inmate. Smith was found guilty of two counts of theft by unlawful taking, promoting contraband and trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine). Smith fled from the correctional facility during evening meal preparation. He waited until a side door was opened to allow a deputy to enter the facility and ran past the guard toward the flood wall.

Smith had previously been convicted of second degree robbery and second degree burglary in 2012 and third degree assault in 2010.

Smith remained at large until the Dayton Police Department caught up with him Friday, Jan. 8. Smith was found with a female companion from Knox County. He was taken to Frankfort and later transported to Knox County. He is now in Clay County Detention Center. Authorities believe Smith traveled to Dayton because he has family members there.

Gray man holds ex-girlfriend hostage, attempts suicide

Josh Phillips

Josh Phillips

When the Barbourville Police Department responded to what they were told was a burglary in progress, it soon became evident that the situation was much more dire.

Josh Phillips, 23, of Gray, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1, by shattering a window. Once inside, Phillips armed himself with a knife from the kitchen and threatened to kill himself. Phillips refused to let the resident leave the apartment, but she managed to escape and called police from a neighbor’s house. Phillips followed his ex to the neighbor’s house, forcing his way inside, still armed with a knife.

Barbourville Police Officer Elijah Broughton was the first to respond to the scene.

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