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Magoffin home raided in federal drug bust

BLOOMINGTON – The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Operation UNITE, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Kentucky State Police, raided a Magoffin County home on Thursday with the suspect in the federal drug case currently on the loose.

On Thursday, August 17, the law enforcement agencies attempted to serve a federal arrest warrant on Gregory Howard, 51, of Bloomington Road, in Salyersville, on the charge of conspiracy to distribute pills containing oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, but when police turned onto his long driveway, Howard reportedly was able to see them coming and ran before police could secure the home.

Kentucky State Police utilized their canine units and a helicopter to help search for Howard, though none of the tips received since the raid regarding Howard’s whereabouts have yielded any progress in law enforcement finding him.

Magoffin County Sheriff Bill Meade told the Salyersville Independent, “Since I first took office, I have been in communication with Morgan County Sheriff Greg Motley and I’ve talked to him and his drug investigator, Doyle Wilson, about both of our counties receiving a lot of complaints about drugs coming out of Greg Howard’s place, so we began working in January on developing a criminal investigation.”

Since January, Sheriff Meade said he and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office have worked in conjunction with the Attorney General’s office, Operation UNITE, and the DEA office in London to make some controlled buys and develop the investigation into a federal case.

A federal search warrant for Howard’s property and federal arrest warrant for his arrest were issued on August 16, with law enforcement executing the search warrant on August 17. At press time, police are still looking for Howard and Sheriff Meade said he expects they will utilize the U.S. Marshals to help track him.

While Meade could not confirm at this time what was confiscated during the search, he said he does anticipate more people will be federally indicted and charged in this case, as well.

“I just want the people of our county to know that we intend to work diligently to make a positive effect on the issue of drugs entering into the county,” Meade said. “By utilizing partnerships with surrounding counties, state and federal agencies, I think we can do a lot of good. We are committed to it – everyone in my office – and Morgan County Sheriff Motley shares in that same philosophy.”

Greg Howard is currently on probation for a 2017 conviction on the charge of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of pills containing hydrocodone. In December 2017, Howard was sentenced (via a plea deal) to 36 months in prison, running concurrently with the 12 months he received for violating probation in his 2013 federal drug case, as well as six years probation, running concurrently with three years he received for violating his probation in the earlier case.
If anyone knows any information regarding Howard’s location, he/she can call the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office at 606-349-2914 or Kentucky State Police Post 9 at 606-433-7711.

Sheriff Meade also asked the public to share any information with his office about illegal drug activity occurring in Magoffin County, noting that callers can remain anonymous.

Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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