As in past years, the manufacture and use of the highly-addictive crystal methamphetamine kept law enforcement officers busy and court dockets filled but the year also included settlement of a murder case that was expected to drain county resources, the emergence of heroin into drug use and something area residents did not expect — shocking charges of child pornography involving a prominent local businessman and his son.
County gossip had buzzed for months over the sudden retirement of Farm Credt Manager Greg Clabaugh and his disappearance from announcing duties at Floyd County High School athletic events. When a grand jury handed down a 21-count indictment on child pornography, the gossip became front page news.
The indictment, sealed until Clabaugh turned himself in, involved graphic pictures of children naked or engaged in sexual acts, and included charges from state police investigators who said they found the images on Clabaugh’s computer along with additional charges of reproduction of those images and a count of “conspiracy to commit a felony.”
Clabaugh’s son, 30-year-old auto mechanic and Iraq war veteran Mark Clabaugh, was also indicted on five counts in the same case, Both are scheduled in Floyd County Circuit Court ont he charges on May 13, 2014.
But child pornography allegations in Floyd County did not end with the indictment of the Clabaughs. Shortly after their indictments hit the news, state police seized a computer in the office of the Voter Registrar and Elections Board along with other materials at the home of a member of the county electoral board.
The case is expected to go before the grand jury early in 2014 and the county staff member has resigned and hired a lawyer.
In July, 30-year-old Eder Guzman-Rodriguez entered a “no-contest” plea to charges of killing his two-year-old daughter in the county in 2011. The Mexican, an illegal immigrant working in the county, claimed his daughter was possessed by a demon and said he beat her to death to drive the demon from her body.
Guzman-Rodriguez was sentenced to 20 years in prison and faces deportation after his release.
At Floyd County Circuit Court, jail vans leave full after weekly sessions as Judge Marc Long hands down tough sentences to those who abuse and manufacture drugs.
Long calls the wave of drug cases “an epidemic that threatens the county.” The judge is also proving touch on those who violate probation. In one case in 2013, Long sent 23-year-old Harrison Chase Carrico to prison for 20 years for his latest probation violation and warned the young man that he still has another 20 years and nine months hanging over his head when he gets out of jail at age 43.