Pubdate: Sun, 10 Apr 2005
Source: Messenger-Inquirer (KY)
Copyright: 2005 Messenger-Inquirer
Author: Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


A western Kentucky police chief credited by his mayor with helping combat 
methamphetamine in their town was indicted this week on two meth-related 
charges. Authorities said the indictment reflects the illegal drug's 

Bobby Sauls, police chief of Sebree, a town of about 1,700 in Webster 
County, faces five to 10 years in prison on each felony charge if 
convicted. Sauls was indicted Wednesday and is to make an initial 
appearance May 6 in Webster County Circuit Court.

Reached for comment at his home on Friday, Sauls said, "Everybody's 
innocent until they're proven guilty. This will come, I'm sure, one of 
these days -- everybody will know the real truth." He declined further comment.

The charges stem from an investigation since 2003 by a Kentucky State 
Police special drug enforcement unit. KSP spokeswoman Capt. Lisa Rudzinski 
said Friday she could not recall any Kentucky law enforcement officer 
previously being indicted on meth charges.

"It underscores the seriousness of the meth problem that's spreading 
throughout Kentucky," Rudzinski said of Sauls' indictment.

Sauls, 65, was not arrested but was served a criminal summons Friday to 
appear in court, she said. The specific charges are criminal conspiracy to 
tamper with anhydrous ammonia equipment with intent to manufacture 
methamphetamine, and criminal conspiracy to possess anhydrous ammonia in an 
unapproved container with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

Anhydrous ammonia is a key ingredient in making the drug, which comes as a 
powder or a pill and can be smoked, inhaled, swallowed or injected.

Rudzinski said Sauls was not suspected of making meth.

"Criminal conspiracy means that someone else was actually tampering with 
the anhydrous ammonia, and he was allegedly advancing that cause," she said.

In Sebree, roughly 100 miles southwest of Louisville, the response at city 
hall was disbelief, Mayor Jerry Hobgood said.

"I don't believe any of it's true," Hobgood said. "That's how I feel about it."

Sauls was on the job Friday as head of a police department that includes 
one other officer, the mayor said. "He's still on the payroll," Hobgood 
said of Sauls.

The mayor said he expected the city council to meet soon to discuss a 
personnel matter, but would not say whether the special meeting would deal 
with Sauls' job status.

Sauls has been police chief for eight to 10 years and has effectively 
combatted meth, Hobgood said. "Our chief had cleaned up a lot of this meth 
problem," the mayor said.

Jay Wethington, Daviess County commonwealth's attorney, was appointed 
special prosecutor in the case by the state attorney general's office.

Wethington declined to discuss specifics of the case Friday.

Bill Greenwell, commonwealth's attorney for Webster, Union and Crittenden 
counties, also declined to discuss the case, but said the indictment of a 
police officer on meth charges was "deflating for prosecution."

"Way over half of our time is spent on drug-related cases, and a lot of 
them being meth-related," Greenwell said.
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