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Sheriff Deputies Charge Two with Stolen Fishing Gear

Laurel County, Kentucky Sheriff John Root is reporting that Laurel Sheriff’s Deputy Tommy Houston along with Deputy Landry Collett with assistance from Knox County Deputy Bobby Jones arrested two individuals early Wednesday morning April 21, 2021 at approximately 3:30 AM. The arrests occurred in a business parking lot off Highway 770 approximately 10 miles South of London, Kentucky after deputies observed a suspicious subject there and conducted an investigation. 

During the investigation this individual attempted to sell fishing reels he had in his possession to the deputies reporting to them that he knew the items were stolen. As deputies continued to investigate, they learned that the individual they were speaking with had allegedly sold fishing reels to a male subject at a motel nearby and that the individual he sold the items to knew they were stolen items. Deputies traveled to the motel and found a male subject there and more fishing reels there possibly stolen. The two arrested individuals were identified as:

• Tommy R. Barton age 43 of Williamsburg – he was the original subject deputies made contact with off Highway 770. This individual was charged with burglary – second-degree. In addition, this individual was charged on a Laurel District Court bench warrant of arrest charging failure to appear for arraignment on charges of possession of a controlled substance – first-degree – first offense – methamphetamine; possession of drug paraphernalia; public intoxication – controlled substances.

• Eugene Jenkins, JR age 49 of Highway 770, Corbin – the individual found at the motel with fishing reels reportedly stolen– this individual charged with receiving stolen property under $500.

The two individuals were lodged in the Laurel County correctional center. Photos of accused attached is courtesy of the Laurel County correctional center. Photos of recovered fishing reels attached to this report. Laurel Sheriff’s Detective Taylor McDaniel who is continuing the investigation reports that the Laurel County Sheriff’s office is seeking possible victims that have had fishing reels stolen recently in the tri-County area. If anyone in the Tri-County area has had a theft of fishing reels, they are asked to contact the Laurel County Sheriff’s office – Detective Taylor McDaniel at 606-864-6600.


Another angler in the area, Brad Hall, posted on April 19th that all of his fishing gear (rods, reels, and all of his lures) were stolen out of his boat in his driveway. Sheriff John Root posted on his page that they are seeking information about these thieves as well. If you have any information, please call the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office at 606-864-6600.