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A suspicious vehicle complaint led to the discovery of a large amount of cash, marijuana, methamphetamine and paraphernalia early Tuesday morning.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office reported that Steven Thomas Helwig, 35, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, was arrested after an initial investigation off West Cumberland Parkway around 3:42 a.m. That investigation led to another investigation at a hotel in Williamsburg, Ky., with the assistance of Williamsburg City Police.

The initial report of a suspicious vehicle at a business 10 miles south of London. The black Buick Verano was driven by Helwig, who was found in possession of suspected methamphetamine, a glass pipe, marijuana and a large amount of cash.

That discovery led to further investigation into Whitley County, where Sheriff’s officials enlisted the assistance of Williamsburg City Police at a motel in Williamsburg. There they found more methamphetamine and marijuana – which was connected to Helwig.

Helwig was charged with first-degree possession of controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense; possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana by Laurel Sheriff’s officials. The investigation at the Williamsburg motel resulted in additional charges of first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and trafficking marijuana. Helwig was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

Assisting in the investigation for the Laurel Sheriff’s Office were Deputies Justin Taylor, Landry Collett, James Fox and Shift Sgt. John Inman. Williamsburg City Police Officers included Officers Dorman and Patrick, Eddie Cain, Jason Williams, Jim Pool and Elijah Hunter. Knox County Deputy Bobby Jones also assisted.

That discovery of illicit drugs is just one of many others that Laurel County Sheriff’s officials have conducted over the past weeks.

On Aug. 21, four people were arrested after suspected crystal meth, heroin, scales, baggies and other drug-related paraphernalia were discovered at a Moren Town Road residence. The following evening, two people were charged with possession of methamphetamine, pills and a hypodermic needle during a traffic stop along Hal Rogers Parkway. Around the same time, another Sheriff’s deputy arrested three people at a Cole Road residence where a white residue, hypodermic syringes and filters were found off Cole Road. Three small children were present in the home and were within arm’s reach of the drugs, according to the Sheriff’s Office press release.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, three separate investigations landed five people in jail on drug-related charges. The first came after a complaint of a dispute between a man and woman at a business off US 25 in southern Laurel County. That led to the discovery of suspected methamphetamine, a used hypodermic needle and a large amount of cash. An hour later, another man riding a four-wheeler along KY 490 was arrested after he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

On Sunday morning, Aug. 23, two people were arrested on Sally’s Branch Road following a traffic stop in which suspected methamphetamine, Suboxone, syringes and baggies were found. It was also learned that the two persons frequented an outbuilding on that road where deputies and detectives found more suspected methamphetamine, scales, syringes, pipes and marijuana after obtaining a search warrant for the building.

On Aug. 26, the service of an outstanding warrant resulted in the wanted suspect being found in possession of suspected methamphetamine and a syringe. A welfare check on minor children reportedly living in poor conditions on Aug. 27 landed a woman in jail for being under the influence of drugs where deputies found a used syringe in the residence.

The following day, two more people were arrested following a complaint from a hotel on KY 192 in London. That investigation netted the findings of suspected methamphetamine, Xanax bars, digital scales and a hypodermic needle. Another man was charged with an outstanding warrant on prior drug-related charges.

On Aug. 30, a traffic stop along KY 1223 sent a man to jail for possessing suspected methamphetamine, pills and drug paraphernalia.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root said that drug investigations will continue throughout the county. Anyone with information regarding illicit drug trafficking or transactions is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (606) 864-6600. Information will remain strictly confidential.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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