Four individuals were arrested this week on drug trafficking and theft charges.

According to a report from Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, the investigation stemmed from complaints of suspicious activity on Oriole Drive. On patrol, Deputy Joe Witherspoon observed a golf cart, which had been reported stolen from Hopkinsville days earlier, operating on the roadway.

The deputy arrested the driver, Phillip D. Merritt Sr., aka Pac Man, 41, and charged him with receiving stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and several traffic violations. According to the police report, Merritt has an extensive criminal history.

Continuing the investigation, authorities executed a search warrant Jan. 1 at a property 10.5 miles south of Eddyville on Ky. 93 South. At the location, deputies and Kentucky State Police arrested Paula J. Hunter, 42, and Matthew E. Hawkins, 43, for multiple drug-, theft- and firearm-related offenses.

Hunter was charged with firearm-enhanced trafficking in methamphetamine and marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and receiving a stolen firearm reported missing from the Henderson area. Hawkins was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property tied to a stolen golf cart and UTV as well as being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He reportedly also has an extensive criminal history.

Lyon County deputies also contacted Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department with information concerning the possible location of additional stolen property. Caldwell authorities were able to locate a stolen golf cart from Hopkinsville and a stolen UTV. Johnathan Milstead, 50, was arrested in the case and charged with receiving stolen property by Caldwell County law enforcement.

Hawkins, Hunter and Merritt were lodged in the Crittenden County Detention Center. Milstead was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail.

The investigation is being led by Witherspoon. Additional charges are pending.

More on this story can be found in next week's edition of The Herald Ledger.