Drug Ring 9 20MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/20/19) — Four arrests were made Thursday evening in connection to a synthetic cannabinoid drug trafficking ring investigation in Hopkins County.

Madisonville-Hopkins County Vice Narcotics Unit reported detectives along with Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations West have been probing the activity since spring.

The primary suspects in connection to the alleged trafficking include James Gibson, 29 of Valley Drive in Madisonville and Joshua Betar, 36 of Corum Drive in Madisonville.

Vice said detectives used informants to “purchase large amounts of synthetic cannabinoids and powder/chemical from both Gibson and Betar,” Detective Bo Crump of KSP DESI/West-Madisonville Police Department wrote. Furthermore, detectives learned Gibson was using Betar to “distribute his product" to numerous individuals including Zach Massey, 24 of Oak Hill Circle in Nortonville and Kenneth Vannoy, 36 of Dulin Street in Madisonville.

Crump reported detectives seized around 820 grams of possible synthetic powder/chemical from Gibson’s home, digital scales, a large sum of cash, 14 firearms including one stolen gun and items believed to be drug ledgers.

The 820 grams of powder would create more than 100 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids, according to the report. Police additionally seized vehicles from Betar, Gibson and Massey. All were taken to Hopkins County Jail. 

Gibson was charged with three counts of trafficking in synthetic drugs (firearm enhanced), engaging in organized crime, receiving stolen property (firearm) and first- and third-degree possession of a controlled substance. He was being held behind bars today on $30,000 cash bond.

Betar was charged with three counts of trafficking in synthetic drugs and engaging in organized crime. He was released from jail after his bond of $10,000 cash was posted today.

Massey was charged with three counts of trafficking in synthetic drugs and engaging in organized crime. He was released from jail today after his $6,000 cash bond was posted.

Vannoy was charged with engaging in organized crime. He was listed as incarcerated stemming from previous drug trafficking charges earlier this month. His bond was currently listed at $10,000 cash.

Crump indicated the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are anticipated. The DEA, MPD and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office assisted.

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