Wildlife officer busts meth labs in Lincoln

October 31, 2003|EMILY BURTON

RICHMOND - Five people were arrested on felony charges Wednesday in dual methamphetamine lab busts in Lincoln County.

The arrests were made by Fish and Wildlife officer Stephen Isaacs while in the pursuit of deer poachers. One man, Larry Ray Pittman, 27, is still being actively sought by Kentucky State Police, local sheriff's offices and Fish and Wildlife officers.

Issacs reported that on Wednesday evening he was following up on an anonymous tip about the possible location of Pittman and Curtis D. Todd when he stopped to question David L. Adams, a suspected associate of Pittman. According to Isaacs, Adams unexpectedly confessed to manufacturing methamphetamine at a site about 100 yards away. Isaacs said Adams took him to an abandoned Chevy Nova on Flatwood School Road, where a meth lab had been constructed.

After arresting Adams, Isaacs said he continued on to follow up on an additional tip about the whereabouts of Pittman and Todd.


Upon arriving at a residence on Glade Fork Road, Isaccs reportedly found Mike Phelps hiding under the house's foundation with a loaded .22-gauge rifle.

Isaacs said Phelps had the rifle under him and "did not go for the gun."

"He knew he was under arrest, trust me," said Isaacs.

At the residence he received the permission of Ernie Johnson to search the house, where Todd was discovered and two others were arrested on drug charges after Isaacs and state troopers found an additional meth lab, several firearms and marijuana.

Todd was taken into custody and charged with poaching. He was also wanted on several warrants in Rockcastle County.

Phelps, 39, of Brodhead, was charged with criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, trafficking in marijuana, second-degree resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

Earnest R. Johnson, 50, of Somerset, was charged with criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine and second-degree hindering apprehension.

Christina N. Phillips, 28, of Crab Orchard, was charged with criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine.

All of those arrested are being held in the Lincoln County regional jail except Todd, who is in Rockcastle County.

Isaacs said that "statements from the individuals during questioning had Mr. Todd and Pittman fleeing the area."

Isaacs attributed the arrests to "great cooperation and assistance" from state police and local sheriff's offices.

He was assisted at the residence by state troopers Clyde Bertram, Tackett Wilson, Bill Collins, the Lincoln County sheriff's office and troopers from a special investigations unit during the site clean-up.

Pittman is still at large and is described as about 6 feet, 180 pounds with red hair. He was last seen with a red goatee and favors bandanas tied over his hair. He is suspected of carrying a .38-caliber rifle and 12-gauge shotgun, and should be considered dangerous.

Isaacs said he is confident it is only a matter of time before Pittman is caught.

"He's basically on the run. Of course there's been a good saturation of police in the (Broughtontown) area. I feel confident he'll be caught."

Anyone with information should contact Isaacs at 1-800-25-ALERT or state police at 1-800-222-5555.

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