8 arrested, $700k worth of illegal drugs seized in multi-agency - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

8 arrested, $700k worth of illegal drugs seized in multi-agency bust

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Erik Cooper and Joshua Fox Erik Cooper and Joshua Fox
Justin "Kyle" McClain and Ulice Sanchez Justin "Kyle" McClain and Ulice Sanchez
Shawn P. Tarver and Sheri Lester Shawn P. Tarver and Sheri Lester
Zachary Lawson Zachary Lawson

WSIL -- Eight people are now in custody after multiple agencies seized $700,000 in meth.

Numerous local, state and federal agencies teamed up to investigate the drug activity.

Eight individuals, Joshua Fox, Zachary Lawson, Sheri Lester, Justin K. Mcclain, Erik Cooper, Shawn Tarver, Roberto Alderete, and Ulice Sanchez, were investigated and charged in state and federal courts in Kentucky and Southern Illinois as part of the combined investigation.

The first arrests were made in Graves County, Kentucky on Sept. 20.

There officers seized crystal meth, cash, and guns. The next day officers seized a package filled with meth sent by one of the suspects to a home in Tennessee.

A separate investigation uncovered drug activity involving suspects in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois,  and California involving meth and marijuana sales.

The Drug Enforcement Agency executed search warrants at multiple homes and businesses in Cairo on Oct. 12th.

There was a murder at one of those businesses on Sept. 1, 2018.

During those raids, agents seized more drugs, cash, and guns.

On Oct. 14, officers arrested two California men where were in Kentucky to sell drugs and collect cash from other drug sales.

One of those men, Roberto Alderete, is believed to be connected to hundreds of pounds of meth and marijuana sales in the region between Dec. 2017 and Oct.2018. 

Overall in the past month--agencies arrested eight people and seized more than 17 pounds of meth. They also took  in $50,000 in cash believed to be from illegal drug sales.

The agencies involved in these cases are the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, the Paducah Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), the Kentucky State Police Street Level Narcotics Unit, the Illinois State Police, the Metropolis Police Department, the McCracken County Commonwealth Attorney, and the United States Attorney's Offices for the Western District of Kentucky and the Southern District of Illinois.  

All charges below:

 Arrested: 09/20/2018 (Mayfield KY of Federal Charges)

Joshua T. Fox 33, of Mayfield KY

Charges: Nine Counts of possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of firearm during a drug crime

Zachary R. Lawson 28, of Mayfield KY

Charges: Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Sheri Lester 49, of Murray KY

Charges: Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Justin "Kyle" McClain 33, of Mayfield KY

Charges: Attempted Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Arrested: 10/12/2018 (Cairo IL Federal Charges)
 
Shawn P. Tarver 46, of Cairo IL

Charges: Two counts of possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Arrested: 10/14/2018 (McCracken County Charges)

Roberto Alderete 28, of Fresno, California

Charges: Firearm enhanced trafficking in Methamphetamine

Ulice Sanchez 28, Southgate, California

Charges: Firearm enhanced trafficking in Methamphetamine, tampering with physical evidence

Arrested: 10/15/2018

Erik Cooper 27, of Barlow KY

Charges: Trafficking in Methamphetamine

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