Kentucky used to be known for its race horses and beautiful pastures, now it can be known for its government owned property that used to be known as crystal meth labs. In Whitley County, in the heart of Appalachia, matters became worse when the person that was at the center of the drug trades was the county’s top law enforcer, Sheriff Lawrence Hodge.
There were suspicions that the Sheriff was taking bribes and confiscating and selling drugs but no one dared to try to prove it ; not even federal agents wanted to touch the notion. That is when two local journalists both in their twenties launched their own investigation. They soon discovered that poking into the affairs of a local county sheriff can be dangerous.
Samantha Swindler then 27 years old was the managing editor of the Times Tribune and was Adam’s boss. They were writing articles about people involved in the drug trade. She was worried interviewing people all hyped up on Oxycontin. She was born in New Orleans and educated in Boston. As editor she tangled with public officials and after working briefly for a small newspaper, the Daily Progress, she remembered how small town politics worked. Samantha started carrying a gun too.
There is also prescription drug use rampart in the town. Oxycodone flows so freely that they call an area of I-75 the pill pipeline. The sheriff was hired in 2002 to clean up the town. According to the FBI from about 2004 he was already very corrupt by being involved with drug dealers, taking bribes, payoffs and extorting from defendants. The FBI and State Police tried to build a case against the Sheriff but couldn’t penetrate his inner circle of drug dealers, politicians and police officers. He was untouchable. Until the editor researched his paperwork.
The reporters filed an Open Records Request requiring him to file where these weapons were stored and with recorded evidence of a threat to kill them by the sheriff he was arrested by May 2010 now he is serving 15 years in a Federal Prison. So, give the young and the unsuspecting a chance in life. Without the reporters dedication and fearless drive another county in America would still be corrupt.