Seven people face court dates and potential lengthy prison sentences after being formally charged with engaging in organized crime in a scheme that authorities say involved a network of people who bought items for making methamphetamine.
Charles Arthur Clemons, 32, and Sarah Elizabeth Court, 25, both of Bowling Green, are identified in a series of indictments handed up Wednesday by a Warren County grand jury as the organizers of a criminal syndicate that bought cold medication containing pseudoephedrine and other ingredients used in the meth-making process.
Clemons and Court would use the items obtained by others to make meth, both for personal use and for trafficking, in a scheme believed to have lasted from Aug. 5 to Oct. 24, according to the indictments.
They are both charged with engaging in organized crime-criminal syndicate, manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a meth precursor.
This is Clemons’ second offense alleging manufacturing meth, which carries a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. Clemons is also charged with being a first-degree persistent felony offender, with prior convictions in Grayson County for felony drunken driving, driving on a license suspended for DUI, fleeing from police and drug possession.
Additional indictments charge Clemons and Court with several more crimes believed to have taken place during the time of the alleged conspiracy.
Clemons and Court are charged with first-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking of property valued at $500 or more but less than $10,000, charges that stem from a burglary Oct. 15 in which two firearms were taken.
Another set of indictments charges Clemons and Court with two counts of receiving stolen property valued at $500 or more but less than $10,000. The two are accused of receiving property belonging to three people Oct. 24, knowing it was stolen and having no intention of returning it.
Clemons is charged in a fourth indictment on two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Five accused of passing materials to meth makers
Tony Randall Clemons, 43, of Leitchfield; Tashialynn Arlenne Deer, 40, of Scottsville; Tammy Kay Montgomery, 50, Derek Nathaniel Selby, 31, and Lisa Renee Selby, 30, all of Bowling Green, are charged with engaging in organized crime-criminal syndicate and facilitation to manufacture methamphetamine.
With the exception of Tony Clemons, the group has also been charged with unlawful possession of a meth precursor.
The indictments accuse each of the co-defendants of buying pseudoephedrine that Charles Clemons and Court would use to make meth.
Found in cold medicine, pseudoephedrine is the primary ingredient necessary for making meth, a highly addictive stimulant often made in clandestine labs in a process that involves toxic chemicals.
Tony Clemons and Deer are also accused of buying lye, and Deer is believed to have bought Coleman fuel that would have gone to Charles Clemons and Court.
The Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force investigated the case.
In state law, engaging in organized crime is, in most instances, a Class B felony that carries a punishment of 10 to 20 years in prison. At least five people have to collaborate in criminal behavior on a continuing basis in order for state prosecutors to seek organized crime charges.
Charles Clemons is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 27 in Warren Circuit Court.
Meth charges pending against two alleged leaders
Clemons and Court have pleaded not guilty in a pending case against them in Warren County that charges both with manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a meth precursor, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of a legend drug. Clemons is also charged in that case with third-degree possession of a controlled substance.
In that case, the two were arrested Oct. 24 after authorities received a tip that Clemons was potentially manufacturing meth at an East 12th Avenue apartment.
According to court documents, Detective Alex Wright of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force and two probation and parole officers went to the residence, where they encountered Clemons and Court.
After receiving consent to search the apartment, officers found a can of Coleman fuel, a box of ammunition and other items suspected of being used to produce meth in the ceiling next to where a ceiling panel had been removed, according to an affidavit for a search warrant given by Wright on Oct. 25.
A drill press found in the bedroom closet and an iPad in the dining area were suspected of being stolen, and several power tools were found in a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier parked outside the apartment, the affidavit stated.
A second affidavit sworn by Wright on Nov. 1 noted Court had been staying in the apartment for a while and that several needles had been found in a dresser containing some of her clothes.
Court also admitted knowing about hidden pseudoephedrine and receipts, and Wright had seized a cellphone from Court in an effort to seek information related to drug activity, according to the affidavit.
Charles Clemons and Court have been in Warren County Regional Jail since their October arrest, while Montgomery was arrested Thursday.
Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said the initial arrests in October allowed law enforcement to learn additional information that broadened the scope of the original investigation and resulted in Wednesday’s organized crime charges.
“During the initial investigation, detectives from the drug task force really went the extra step in looking at the original investigation and were able to develop additional information,” Cohron said.