A big drug bust in Pawnee County

Monday, August 15th 2005, 10:02 am
By: News On 6

Authorities busted the owners of a Cleveland motel for selling drugs right out of one of the rooms and amazingly, this isn't the first time they've been in trouble for it.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright went to Cleveland and the motel.

Prescription pills, more than 3,000 of them, everything from valium to hydrocodone to morphine and xanax. They sell on the black market for anywhere between $3 and $40 a pill.

The Pawnee County Drug Task Force working with Cleveland Police officers confiscated the pills at the Skylark Motel in Cleveland. They say the owners of the motel were selling them out of rooms 109, 106 and 102. They also found pills in the couple's truck and trailer, so the sheriff's office plans to file forfeiture on all of it.

Pawnee County Sheriff Roger Price: "Everything we can legally attach to the drugs, we're going to take. We find that hits them worse than anything, taking their assets from them." In addition to all the pills, officers also confiscated some handguns and rifles. The sheriff suspects some are probably stolen and many were traded for the drugs in lieu of money.

And, this isn't the first time this couple has been in trouble. In fact, they were still facing charges from a previous drug case when this drug bust happened. Francis and Glenda Huddleston had just had their preliminary hearing last week after a drug bust at their motel back in November. Yet, officers say the couple stayed in business, as long as there are customers, dealers will go for that easy money. "Some people I talk to get legitimately hooked on pain pills, for back pain or a car accident, but, then they need them for a different reason and they're easy to get a hold of."

Drug officers say they can only hope others will learn their lesson faster than this couple did. The motel is still open. Lori Fullbright stopped in at the Skylark Motel Monday, but the manager didn't want to comment.

Records show when an officer told the couple they were ruining lives and families by selling drugs, that Mr. Huddleston said, "It’s not my fault they want to buy drugs."

The couple will be eligible for bond at their arraignment.