This past Thursday, October 3, 2019, around 1:07 PM, the Breathitt County Sheriff’s department was granted permission, by the proprietor of the premises, to search Robert’s Grocery. Robert’s Grocery is located on Sewell Street in Jackson, Kentucky.
During the consent search, the following items were discovered: 36 bags of marijuana, 56 rolled marijuana cigarettes, 3 bottles of marijuana seeds, a pipe, 2 sets of scales, rolling papers, 20 Neurontin and $1,997.35 in US currency. Information concerning the weight of the marijuana wasn't provided within the Sheriff Department's "Press Release;" however, the weight is significant in making charging decisions concerning the grade of offense for reasons which will be below revealed.
Neurontin can cause effects on the central nervous system described as a low-level euphoria. While it is no where near the extent of an opioid, it has before been used the same way and by people desiring the same effect.
Ronnie Roberts, the owner of the Grocery, was charged with Trafficking Marijuana, Possession of a Controlled Substance (Neurontin) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (rolling papers and scales). Trafficking can be a misdemeanor in Kentucky, if a first offense and if the amount trafficked is less than 8 ounces according to information accessed on-line by the Jackson Times-Voice. Second or subsequent offenses are felonies with the grade of the felony increasing per event.
Where the amount is more than 8 ounces and less than five pounds, even the first offense is a Class D felony. Trafficking more than 5 pounds of marijuana is a Class C felony for a first offense and a B felony for second or subsequent offenses.
The law we accessed on-line suggests a person who possesses 8 or more ounces of marijuana is intending to either sell or transfer it by a legal presumption codified within the statute criminalizing the conduct. Here the amount recovered, via the consent search, doesn't support a codified presumption that the target of the investigation was intending to sell or transfer the marijuana but there are factors which indicate that may have been his intention. The following evidence would tend to suggest the contraband was for sale and not for personal use: the recovered "rolled" cigarettes, the 2 set of scales, the seeds, the currency totaling the amount above indicated, and the fact marijuana was individually bagged into 36-separate baggies.
This incident remains under investigation. Should anyone have information regarding the events surrounding the event, you are encouraged to contact Major Mike Wolfe of the Breathitt County Sheriff’s Department.