Authorities release conspiracy information one year later

Published 1:54 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

One year after a major conspiracy bust involving several law enforcement agencies, the information into the bust is being released by the Appalachian Narcotics Investigations.

In July 2018, Pineville Police Department received a call of a tractor trailer that was driving recklessly on U.S. 25E. Officer Curtis Pingleton observed the vehicle and performed a traffic stop.

The traffic stop led to a lengthy investigation and the arrest of two men, Brandon Hayden and Vincent Raglin, along with two other individuals that were initially stopped in Pineville. All four men have received federal prison time as a result of this investigation.

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During the traffic stop made by Pingleton, he made contact with two males who were in the vehicle and conducted a roadside interview and interdiction. It was determined that the men were exhibiting suspicious behavior and detained them.

Pingleton observed several duffle bags inside the cab of the truck, and the occupants told the officer there was marijuana in the bags. Both individuals were detained by Pingleton and then Assistant Chief Kyle Dunn.

The Appalachia Narcotics Investigations were then contacted to assist with the investigation.

The ANI coordinated with Lexington DEA and discovered the marijuana confiscated was intended to be delivered to Madison County. Throughout the investigation, the two individuals who were allegedly expecting to pick up the marijuana in Madison County were identified. Detectives with ANI and DEA coordinated the delivery and the DEA arrested the intended recipients of the marijuana.

Further investigation revealed the total weight of the marijuana discovered by Pingleton was 91.9 kilograms (202.6 lbs). The tractor trailer traveled from El Paso, Texas and had made stops in South Carolina before the traffic stop was made in Pineville. The investigation determined the intended recipients and the location of the shipment.

Evidence presented during a two-day trial in February of this year by the DEA and ANI established that in July 2018, Hayden, of Lexington, had received multiple cell phone photographs of bags and bales of marijuana buds with texts that indicated that the shipment was on its way to him in a tractor-trailer.

Later in the day on July 17, Hayden was at a truck stop in Richmond, where he was expecting to meet the tractor-trailer but was unaware that it had been intercepted by the Pineville Police Department.

Hayden met Raglin, a co-defendant who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy, in the parking lot of the truck stop. Hayden and Raglin then drove to the spot where the tractor-trailer was parked. After Raglin got out of his vehicle and collected the first duffle bag, they were arrested by authorities.

Pineville Police and ANI were assisted on the traffic stop by deputies with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office. ANI is a multi-agency narcotics investigation unit consisting of Detectives from Harlan County Sheriff, Bell County Sheriff, Pineville Police and Kentucky State Police.