A federal grand jury has indicted six individuals in connection with a cocaine conspiracy prosecutors say was responsible for pounds of the drug being trafficked in Perry County.
On July 16, the grand jury in London issued an indictment against Thomas “Big Tom” Hamblin, also known as Thomas Sizemore, 64, Robert Keith “Bub” Caudill, 39, and Bobby Joe Sizemore, 62, all of Little Leatherwood Road, Cornettsville, as well as Doyle Back Jr., 60, of Ky. 463, Gordon, Luke Holbrook, age unavailable, of Hallie, and Micheal Rayburn, age and address unavailable.
The indictment charges all six with conspiring between March 2019 and July 2020 to distribute cocaine and pills containing hydrocodone, alprazolam and buprenorphine. According to the indictment, a total of 500 grams or more of cocaine is attributed to all defendants except Back. Caudill and Hamblin were both also each indicted on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Hamblin, Holbrook and Rayburn were also indicted on a charge of possessing, brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
Prosecutors, the indictment said, are also seeking the forfeiture of more than $50,000 in cash seized from Hamblin and Sizemore, as well as numerous firearms and various rounds of ammunition seized from members of the alleged conspiracy.
According to an affidavit filed in the case by a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and revealed after Hamblin, Sizemore and Caudill were charged earlier this month, the investigation into the conspiracy was launched in 2018, but became highly-investigated in 2019 after local law enforcement received information from law enforcement officers in Georgia that indicated a “kilogram-level” cocaine distribution ring was being operated at Little Leatherwood.
Law enforcement, the affidavit indicates, conducted a total of at least a dozen controlled buys of cocaine from what the agent refers to as the Hamblin Drug Trafficking Organization during the course of the investigation.
The agent wrote that the investigation has revealed that the drug trafficking organization linked to Hamblin, “engages in the importation and distribution of pound quantities of cocaine and is involved in acts of violence in furtherance of the distribution of controlled substances.”
The organization was also linked to a violent incident in Tazewell, Tennessee, which the agent wrote may have stemmed from an incident in which Caudill was robbed during the course of a drug deal. Court documents and police statements from that incident indicate both Holbrook and Rayburn were implicated in that incident.
Court documents show that Hamblin, Caudill and Sizemore were each arraigned on July 17 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram and pleaded not guilty to the charges they face.
All the defendants except Holbrook and Rayburn were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center as of presstime July 22.