Eubank man accused in case of booby-trapped marijuana changes plea

Janie Slaven, Commonwealth Journal, Somerset, Ky.
·1 min read

Apr. 22—A Eubank man charged in connection to a marijuana plot that was protected by explosive devices is set to be sentenced after changing his plea.

Emmanuel J. Joseph, 36, of County Line Road, was indicted in October 2019 on charges of Cultivate in Marijuana (less than 5 plants, 1st offense), first-degree Wanton Endangerment of a Police Officer, and Possession of a Destructive Device or Booby Trap.

The charges stem from an investigation that began on August 27, 2019. According to Sergeant Dustin Hon, with Kentucky State Police's Cannabis Suppression unit, the plants were initially spotted from the air by the Marijuana Strike Force. The helicopter landed in order for officers to cut the plants down. As two troopers and a National Guard approached the plot, an explosive primed by a shotgun shell to go off by a tripwire detonated near one of the officers.

No one was injured.

No arrests were made at the time as no one appeared to be home, Sgt. Hon reported. As the investigation continued, KSP's bomb squad located another device on the property and Detective Brandon Curlis, the lead investigator, was able to retrieve another from one of the suspects.

Indicted along with Joseph was William W. Gilliland, 36, of Gary Powell Road in Eubank. He is set to stand trial in Pulaski Circuit Court on May 3.

As for Joseph, he changed his plea during a pretrial conference last Friday. Circuit Judge Teresa Whitaker has scheduled his formal sentencing for May 27. He remains free on a $10,000 bond.