Hostage situation at 49er Truck Stop led to record $2.5 million drug bust


Several people have been arrested after an undercover operation led to an armed hostage situation at a Kentucky truck stop, leading investigators to millions of dollars in illegal drugs.

The incident began around 7 a.m. on Monday July 18 at the 49er Truck Stop off I-75 in London, Kentucky.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) reportedly investigated three suspects for a period of time and Monday morning there was an undercover drug purchase attempt that turned into an armed hostage situation, involving a suspect with a gun holding two people inside a car, according to WKYT.

During the incident, about a dozen workers and customers took shelter in a back room of the truck stop for safety reasons.

Police were eventually able to arrest Justin Cooper, Travis Jefferson and Christopher Brown, all of Lexington, Kentucky, on various warrants and firearms charges.

No one was injured, but two police cars were damaged after being hit by a suspect.

Following the incident at the 49er Truck Stop, police seized “approximately 1.25 pounds of crystal meth, several hundred fentanyl pills, small amounts of cocaine, heroin and marijuana during a delivery in Laurel County”.

Following Monday’s arrests, the LCSO teamed up with the DEA, FBI and Lexington Police Department to continue the investigation and locate the source of the drugs.

From the LCSO:

On Tuesday, July 19, the Lexington Police Department, assisted by the DEA, FBI, and the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at a residence on Cambridge Drive in Lexington. As a result of this search warrant, approximately 43 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 4.7 pounds of cocaine, approximately 19,000 unit doses of fentanyl tablets, 30.9 grams of heroin and three firearms were seized. Ariadna Lemus-Fuentes of Lexington and Jose Alberto Valles-Espinoza, a Mexican native, were arrested there and charged with federal drug trafficking and also housed in the Laurel County Detention Center.

The LCSO said the estimated street value of the recovered drugs is over $2.5 million.

LCSO Sheriff John Root called it a “record narcotics seizure”.

“Exceptional interagency cooperation was vital to the successful conclusion of these seizures and arrests,” Root said.


About Author

Comments are closed.