Comments Off on Skaggs called as witness in second day of meth trial

The trial in U.S. District Court in London of Russell Lee Collins, Eddy Ray Wilburn and Richard Brosky, of Barbourville, charged with making and selling methamphetamine, went into its second day Wednesday.

The three are charged in two indictments charging a total of 15 people with various charges.

On Wednesday, Charles W. Skaggs, a convicted felon and one of the 15, was called as a witness.

On Sept. 7, 2011, he was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to two counts in the indictment.

Mike Pratt, Assistant U.S. Attorney, began questioning in regards to how Skaggs had gotten his meth.

Much of it, he said, he got by delivering pseudoephedrine to either of Collins, Wilburn and Brosky. The pseudoephedrine is the basic chemical for making meth.

Asked how often he got meth in the past three years from the three meth makers he said, “numerous occasions.”

Also to get meth he would repair Collins’ automobile. That pay would often be a half-gram, which is worth about $50, or a full-gram, which was worth about $100.

The two others would price meth at different levels.

Often Skaggs said he would bring lithium batteries to Collins and Wilburn to make meth for which they would also trade.

Pratt asked about the atmosphere in the area near where the three lived on KY 1803 just off KY 229.

He called it hectic, “people coming and going.” The area was peopled by women and men who brought pseudoephedrine, batteries and other items for making meth as well as bringing building material for Collins building a home.

Asked about Collins’ money, Skaggs said Collins had told him he didn’t need money, he used meth instead. He said he could get most anything with it, as well as sex.

Skaggs said of Collins, “I’ve seen whole wads of money bigger than Collins’ fist.”

Skaggs said he went to the top of a mountain where he saw Collins and Wilburn making meth. They started with about 20 boxes of pseudoephedrine, lithium strips out of batteries and other items including anhydrous ammonia.

He was also with Richard Brosky while they were cooking meth.

Then came Collins’ lawyer, Andrew M. Stephens, for the defense who asked him about his use of meth, to which Skaggs replied he could quit meth for long periods.

He always went back, though, but while Skaggs is in jail, there is no meth, Skaggs said.

Then came Mark A. Wohlander, working for Brosky.

He asked Skaggs about cooking meth at a place near Collins’ home near an apple orchard on top of a hill behind a church.

Skaggs said it was at nighttime when he was helping cook it.

The next witness was Rita Gray, who was taken to Wilburn’s home by Hollie Diane Adkins to get high on meth.

That was in about 2011. To get the meth she brought from town two boxes of pseudoephedrine that cost $12 and exchanged it for meth.

She stayed at the home for about a month, she said.

She was charged in state court with distributing precursors of meth, spent time in jail and was released.

On the witness stand, Gray was followed by Adkins, who is currently in jail.

Pratt asked her about a time at Wilburn’s home.

She explained that she had taken so much meth that she was out of her head and reported that a woman had been found dead on a mountain nearby.

Police officers, other searchers and a helicopter searched the hill and found no body after about five hours of searching.

Eventually she reported that she had hallucinated the story after overdosing on meth.

The trial continues in the U.S. Courthouse in London at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.


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