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Middlesboro Police arrest 3 in record drug bust for the city

From WRIL The Big One -

A lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in Middlesboro has resulted in two arrests and the largest drug bust in Middlesboro Police Department history.


In March of this year, Middlesboro Police Sgt./Narcotics Detective Ryan Collins received information that William “Bub” Herald and Aliesha Barnett, both 41-years-old and from Middlesboro were trafficking in large amounts of Methamphetamine from a house on south 31st Street.


During a separate investigation, Officer Collins determined another drug trafficker was getting their supply from the same residence.


Further investigation determined that over several months Barnett had been regularly renting a vehicle and then Herald would use the vehicle to travel out of state to pick up large amounts of Methamphetamine.


On Saturday, August 5, 2023, Officer Collins obtained and executed a search warrant at the residence with the assistance of several Middlesboro Officers. Inside the home was Herald, Barnett, 27-year-old Shawn Shelby, and a juvenile child.


During the search, the officers found a large amount of Methamphetamine and cash in a safe. In a bedroom, they found large amounts of distribution bags and drug paraphernalia along with multiple smaller bags also containing Methamphetamine and various prescription pills. In a deep freezer in the kitchen, officers found four more large bags containing Methamphetamine.


All three individuals were arrested and lodged in the Bell County Detention Center. Social services was contacted to place the child with a family member.


On Sunday August 6th, Officer Collins learned from another officer that while incarcerated, Aliesha Barnett was overheard on a jail phone speaking to a relative about officers missing other drugs in the home during their search. William Herald was then overheard in a separate call to the same individual telling him where the drugs were hidden and to go to the home to get rid of the illegal items.


Based on that information, another search warrant was executed, and officers located more Methamphetamine, prescription pills, drug paraphernalia and cash.


William Herald and Aliesha Barnett have both been charged with trafficking controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense greater than two grams (Methamphetamine), 2 counts of possession of controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense (drug unspecified), 2 counts of possession of controlled substance – 3rd degree (drug unspecified), wanton endangerment – 2nd degree, delivery/manufacture of drug paraphernalia, persistent felony offender II, and tampering with physical evidence.


Shawn Shelby was charged with trafficking controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense greater than two grams (Methamphetamine), possession of controlled substance – 1st degree, 1st offense (Methamphetamine), delivery/manufacture of drug paraphernalia, promoting contraband – 1st degree, and tampering with physical evidence.

He was also served a probation violation.


In total, officers seized (19) nineteen bags with over 850 grams illegal drugs, $17,892 in cash, multiple pills of different dosages, scales, (4) four vehicles, (3) three iPhones, (1) one motorcycle, multiple distribution baggies, and several drug paraphernalia.


Detective Collins is continuing this investigation.







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