Lengthy investigation ends with 14 suspects indicted on drug cha - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lengthy investigation ends with 14 suspects indicted on drug charges

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Brittany Baird Brittany Baird

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A major drug trafficking ring is busted by Louisville Metro Police after a lengthy investigation.

There are hundreds of charges among the group - criminal syndication, drug trafficking, fleeing and evading, tampering with physical evidence and illegal possession of a handgun are just a few.

"Some people had additional charges,” said Jeff Cooke, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.

Cooke says fourteen people - Anthony Kessinger, Antonio Wilson, Ernest Cockerell, Roberta Smothers, Terry M. Tidwell, Jenny Cockerell, Edward Lachalmelle, Steven Cockerell, Brittany Baird, Billy Williams, Robert Smothers, Eddie Maddox and Stephanie Cockerell - are believed to have been involved in a major drug organization.

“They were all charged with criminal syndication, which is basically when people get together and more than five people combined commit a crime,” Cooke said.

LMPD's first division FLEX unit and the ATF began working the case in July of 2014.

Police say many of the suspects are related to each other, and most of them live on Bank Street in Louisville's Portland neighborhood.

Last month, officers searched one of the homes and found suspected meth and heroin along with scales, baggies, cash and a loaded handgun.

The suspects' bonds range from $25,000 to $150,000.

Cooke calls it a significant bust in the fight against Louisville's drug problem.

"We hope it makes a dent in the heroin trafficking that takes place in our community, because it's obviously a real scourge in the community ... We hope this will interrupt the flow and help us get a handle on it, because it's a difficult problem in the community right now."

Two of the defendants, Terry Tidwell and Eddie Maddox, have not yet been arrested. They’re all scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

Police say this is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are expected.

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