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Liquid methadone found in traffic stop


SALYERSVILLE – Two men from Pike County were arrested in Salyersville early Tuesday morning after a traffic stop uncovered large quantities of methadone.

According to the arrest citations, Salyersville Police Department Officer Mike Nickels pulled over a vehicle around 4 a.m. on December 4 after he observed it crossing the center line multiple times. Once the vehicle was pulled over, Nickels said the two men in the car were acting nervous and suspicious, so he asked them to exit the vehicle.

The driver, Michael Kyle Vanhorn, 39, of Phelps, consented to a police search of the vehicle, when Nickels found 32 bottles containing liquid methadone, each with the name tag ripped off. He also found $900 in cash, needles on the driver and pills on both Vanhorn and the passenger, Billy Joe Daniels, 52, of Freeburn.

Liquid methadone in this form is considered a Schedule II narcotic and is usually found in a hospital or treatment setting. Though the names had been removed from the bottles, they were prescribed in Chicago, Illinois and many were dated from July. 

Nickels also found $900 in cash in the vehicle. The two reportedly told police they were bringing the bottles from Chicago. 

Vanhorn was charged with reckless driving and both he and Daniels were charged with possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, drug unspecified, and prescription of a controlled substance not in original container, first offense. 

Both were released on bond from the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on December 5, though no court date has been scheduled at press time. 

The case is still under investigation and local law enforcement has involved the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.


Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Heather Oney

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