3 Linked to Surge of Heroin Overdoses in Nicholasville

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/AP) – Three men have been indicted following a surge of heroin overdoses that occurred in the Nicholasville area last month.

A federal grand jury in Lexington indicted Jeffrey Ruggiero, 27, Jerrod Doolin, 34, and Lamar “Juice” Thornton, 24, on drug conspiracy charges Thursday.

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Court documents say the three conspired to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of heroin and the elephant tranquilizer carfentanyl between July and January.  Investigators believe Ruggiero brought the drugs to Central Kentucky from Detroit, according to documents.

Ruggiero pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday.  His jury trial is scheduled for April. Doolin and Thornton are expected to go before a judge for arraignment on Monday.

Emergency crews responded to ten overdoses in about 36 hours in Jessamine County in early January.  One death, suspected of being a drug overdose, happened just outside that timeframe.  Detectives at the time said a “bad batch of heroin” was to blame for the spike in overdoses.

Revive Life House wants to help people overcome their addictions.  The faith-based recovery center has been open in Nicholasville for nearly a year and still has space in its program.

Revive Life House: 101 Richmond Ave., Nicholasville, KY (859) 881-0045