By Bobbie Poynter
Knox County Sheriff’s Department and Operation UNITE detectives arrested two out-of-state men for trafficking in a controlled substance in the Barbourville Walmart Parking lot Thursday, March 26, around 12:30 p.m.
The arrest was the result of a controlled buy orchestrated by the Knox sheriff’s department.
During the arrest, over 100 Oxycodone 30 mg tablets, with a street value over $5,500 were seized. In addition, over $4,500 in cash and several electronic devices were seized. Richardson and Leach were in a vehicle that had been rented in Alcoa, Tenn.
Ernest Richardson, 43, of Mount Vernon, New York and Mark Leak, 36, of Waterbury, Conn., were both charged with first degree trafficking in a controlled substance and lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.
Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith, Deputies Keith Liford, Tackett Wilson and William Stewart along with two Operation UNITE detectives participated in the arrests.
Kentucky State Police Canine Handler Dallas Eubanks was requested to conduct a search of the vehicle. No other drugs were found during the search.
Barbourville Police Department also assisted at the scene.
“We appreciate the cooperation between UNITE and the Barbourville City Police in making the operation go so smoothly,” said Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith.