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Deputy and Dispatcher Accused of Drug Dealing

Operation UNITE (“UNITE” is an acronym meaning Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) combines drug enforcement with treatment and educational interventions. Last week, the enforcement part came into play when a Pike County Sheriff’s deputy and a dispatcher for the office were arrested.

UNITE was started in 2003 by Congressman Harold Rogers, reacting to reports of elevated prescription drug abuse in southern and eastern Kentucky. The accusations in this case center around selling prescription narcotics to an informant. Bradley Childers (the deputy) and Matthew Blanton (the dispatcher) are accused of collaborating with Childers actually selling the pills, while Blanton (who was off duty at the time) accompanied him.

The deputy became suspicious of the buyer, and later on allegedly asked Blanton to get information on the informant. This was then used to threaten the informant. The informant will be a key witness in the case.

Further details about the case have not been released, and UNITE is still investigating. It is unknown if the deputy and dispatcher were the only members of the department involved in prescription trafficking, nor the extent of the dealings. The charges, at this stage, are only allegations of wrongdoing.

If proven to be true, this wouldn’t be the first time that law enforcement officers have allowed the easy money from pill selling to sway them. Some may even feel that their status as police gives them protection from prosecution and arrest. It’s nice to see that organizations like UNITE are out there, acting as independent watchdogs and able to go where the evidence leads instead of protecting bad cops.

This is a case where Operation UNITE has fulfilled its mission statement, which reads:
“Operation UNITE works to rid communities of illegal drug use through undercover narcotics investigations, coordinating treatment for substance abusers, providing support to families and friends of substance abusers, and educating the public about the dangers of using drugs. UNITE’s goal is to educate and activate individuals by developing and empowering community coalitions to no longer accept or tolerate the drug culture.”

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