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(AP) - A western Kentucky police chief who had been credited by his mayor with helping combat the scourge of methamphetamine in their small town has been indicted on two meth-related charges.
Bobby Sauls, police chief of Sebree, a town of 1,700 about 100 miles southwest of Louisville, was indicted Wednesday and faces five to 10 years in prison if convicted on each count. A hearing is set for May 6.
The charges stem from an investigation by a Kentucky State Police special drug enforcement unit.
"It underscores the seriousness of the meth problem that's spreading throughout Kentucky," state police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said Friday. She said Sauls was not suspected of making meth.
Sauls, 65, was not arrested but was served Friday with a criminal summons to appear in court, she said. The charges are criminal conspiracy to tamper with anhydrous ammonia equipment with intent to manufacture meth and criminal conspiracy to possess anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture meth.
Anhydrous ammonia, a common fertilizer, is a key ingredient in making the drug, which comes as a powder or a pill and can be smoked, inhaled, swallowed or injected.
"Everybody's innocent until they're proven guilty," Sauls said Friday. "One of these days everybody will know the real truth."
In Sebree, where Sauls is one of just two police officers, the response was disbelief.
"I don't believe any of it's true," Mayor Jerry Hobgood said.
Sauls had been police chief for at least eight years and has effectively combatted meth in the area, Hobgood said. He said Saul remains on the city payroll.