Pulaski County Sheriff Greg Speck reports that on November 1, 2018 Samantha Poynter, age 26 of Somerset was arrested in West Palm Beach, Florida. Poynter’s arrest concluded a year-long investigation into a heroin ring operating in Pulaski County. Numerous agencies participated in the investigation including the Somerset Police Department, the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In December of 2017 Narcotics Detectives with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office developed information that Samantha Poynter, along with numerous other individuals, was currently operating a heroin enterprise in Pulaski County. An investigation started into the drug trafficking organization which ultimately led Detectives to the source of Poynter’s heroin supply in Cincinnati.
The Sheriff’s Office contacted the DEA for assistance and discovered they were familiar with the source of Poynter's supply of heroin.
On January 11, 2018, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office received information that Poynter was on her way back to Somerset, from Cincinnati, Ohio. She was allegedly transporting a quantity of heroin. Law Enforcement officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Somerset Police Department, Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force, and DEA located heroin when they executed a search warrant at her residence later on the same date.
Law enforcement then focused their investigation into the alleged source of the supply of heroin, Stephen Ushery, age 35 of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Ushery, also known as "Vito", had a residence in Pulaski County as well. Surveillance began on the Ushery residence as investigators continued to gather evidence into his drug enterprise. On September 13, 2018, Ushery was traffic stopped on East Highway 80 by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force, and the DEA. Ushery, along with a female in the vehicle, Kimberly Sweeten, age 35, was taken into custody. Ushery had a large amount of cash on his person at the time of the stop. A search warrant was then issued for Ushery’s Rosemont Avenue address in Pulaski County. Upon searching the residence, Detectives located approximately 40 grams of heroin inside of the residence.
Suspects in this case were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in October 2018.
The following individuals were indicted and have been arrested:
Samantha Jade Poynter, Age 26, Somerset, KY – Conspiracy to distribute over 100 grams of heroin
Stephen W. Ushery, Age 35, Cincinnati, OH – Conspiracy to distribute over 1000 grams of heroin
Kimberly Sweeten, Age 35, Cincinnati, OH – Conspiracy to distribute over 100 grams of heroin
Diana Chiree Sullivan, Age 26, Somerset, KY – Conspiracy to distribute over 100 grams of heroin
James T. Hargis, Age 31, Somerset, KY – Conspiracy to distribute over 100 grams of heroin
Sheriff Greg Speck stated, “Organizations like these have created drug problems for residents of our community and surrounding communities. Drug traffickers, from other states, with a supply of dangerous drugs infiltrate our neighborhoods with the sole purpose of profiting from the vulnerabilities of drug addicts.” Sheriff Speck also added “We are fortunate enough to have established great relationships with federal agencies, along with local agencies, to fight the flow of drugs. These partnerships are essential to the continued fight to combat the constant flow of heroin and other dangerous drugs, at their source, from entering our community.”