Four charged with vehicle theft, drugs

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Four people were arraigned in Shelby County court on Tuesday in connection to a local vehicle theft investigation that resulted in several additional charges.

According to a post-arrest complaint completed by Kentucky State Police Post 12, a trooper with that agency was on routine patrol Aug. 7 in Shelby County when he noticed a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Bardstown earlier that day. The trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver took an abrupt turn on a side road.

The trooper found the vehicle a short time later in a wood line behind an abandoned property and saw two women, identified as 22-year-old Brittany Sellards of Betsy Lane and 38-year-old Beverly Lester of Pikeville, walking away from the SUV. Lauren Powell, 20, of Elkhorn, was also located in the area, and the three women were taken into custody.

According to the complaint, all three women appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. Inside the vehicle, the trooper located needles, burnt spoons, and small plastic baggies, a Walmart bag containing a “large quantity” of suspected methamphetamine, and a smaller bag of suspected.

Powell allegedly admitted to using heroin that day, and in speaking with the trooper, Lester claimed she had been drugged with what she believed was meth or heroin by Powell and a male later identified as William West. West, believed to be the driver of the vehicle who fled the scene, was apprehended the following day.

During the investigation, police also located a truck and large trailer on the property at which the suspects had allegedly left the Bardstown vehicle. The truck and trailer had been reported stolen out of Louisville.

On Friday, Captain Richard Jones and Detective Reece Riley of the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office visited the Shelby County Jail to speak with the suspects. The Sheriff’s Office reported a camper that had been stolen out of Louisville was located at White Acre’s Campground on Boston Road in Nelson County, and it was believed the suspects had been living inside of it.

All four suspects have been lodged in the Shelby County Jail and as of Tuesday are each charged with receiving stolen property $10,000 or more. Each faces several other charges as well.

Sellards, Powell and Lester are charged with public intoxication by a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and first-degree trafficking in meth equal to or greater than two grams. Powell is also charged with first-degree possession of heroin, and Sellards is charged with first-degree possession of an unspecified drug and tampering with physical evidence. The women also had active warrants for various other charges.

West is charged with three counts of receiving stolen property $10,000 or more, second-degree fleeing or evading police on foot and first-degree trafficking in meth greater than or equal to two grams.

Arraignments for all four were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Shelby County with Judge Donna Dutton presiding.