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Two Johnson men arrested on Drug trafficking charges

SALYERSVILLE – Two Johnson County men were arrested during a traffic safety checkpoint held on the Mountain Parkway in Magoffin last Thursday night.

On Thursday, April 25, Kentucky State Police asked a black SUV to pull to the side of the road after the driver was unable to produce any registration or insurance paperwork.

The driver, Nicholas Shane Barnett, 36, of West Van Lear, in Johnson County, provided KSP with his driver’s license, which came back as revoked, and police ran the ID of the passenger, identified as Tony Ray Endicott, 58, also of West Van Lear, which also came back as suspended and that he had prior methamphetamine possession charges on his criminal record.

During a search, police found a prescription medication bottle with no label in Endicott’s pocket, with the bottle containing a mixture of non-controlled tablets. In the same pocket, law enforcement reportedly found a cut off straw with a visible white residue. Endicott at first denied using the straw for drug usage, but later told police he had used it to snort pain pills, reportedly saying, “he wished he had one to snort right now,” according to the arrest citation.

During a probable cause search of the vehicle, police found a methamphetamine pipe hidden inside a glove in Endicott’s bag, located at his feet. In the center console, law enforcement reportedly found a large plastic baggie containing 237 grams (1/2 pound) of a clear, rock-like substance suspected to be methamphetamine, according to the police report.

While both occupants denied ownership of the drug, after interview Barnett and Endicott individually, police noted in the citation they believe both were involved in the illegal act of drug trafficking, suspecting they had traveled out of town, purchased a large quantity of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the drug in the Paintsville community of Johnson County.

According to the arrest citation, police also found 4 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine in Barnett’s pocket. Barnett stated the 4 grams were his, but he did not know anything about the large quantity in the center console.

Endicott later told police they had missed a methamphetamine pipe in his jacket pocket during the search, as well, according to the citation.

The suspected methamphetamine was sent to the Kentucky State Police laboratory for drug identification and Lemaster’s Towing was called to remove the vehicle from the scene.

Both Barnett and Endicott were lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, where they remain at press time.

Barnett is currently facing the following charges: operating on a suspended or revoked operator’s license; possessing a license when privileges are revoked; first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, greater than or equal to 2 grams methamphetamine; and buying or possessing drug paraphernalia.

Endicott was charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, greater than or equal to 2 grams methamphetamine; and buying or possessing drug paraphernalia.

Both are set for preliminary hearings in their felony cases on May 6 at 9:15 a.m. at the Magoffin County Justice Center.

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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