Members of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the US 23 Major Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant on Thursday evening at 812 Delaware Street Apt #3 in Washington Court House. The search warrant was executed approximately 8:50pm.

According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, an ongoing narcotics investigation led to the execution of the search warrant, the residence of 49-year-old Robert L. McClendon.

During entry into the residence, two vicious dogs inside the home became aggressive toward deputies and attacked Fayette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 "Ben". Shots were fired by deputies in the perimeter of the search warrant, killing both of McClendon’s dogs as they continued their aggression toward deputies and the sheriff’s K-9 unit. 

Sheriff’s Cpl. Michael Payton also sustained an injury to his leg inside the residence during the search warrant execution, unrelated to the incident involving the aggressive dogs. Cpl. Payton was transported to the Fayette County Memorial Hospital for medical treatment where he was treated and released. Sheriff’s K-9 "Ben" was transported to the Fayette Veterinary Hospital where he was treated and released for wounds to his leg stemming from the animal attack. 

During the search, substances believed to be heroin and crack cocaine, firearms, drug abuse instruments, an undisclosed amount of cash and stolen property were recovered. In addition to McClendon, other occupants inside the residence were identified as 44-year-old Randy L. Ruth of 607-C Village Court, Washington Court House and 18-year-old Sara D. Johnson of 1019 Briar Avenue, Washington Court House. 

All three subjects were transported to the Fayette County Jail and incarcerated. McClendon was charged with Trafficking in Drugs, Weapons under Disability, and Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. Johnson was charged with Possession of Drugs and Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. Ruth was charged with Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. Additional charges are likely as detectives continue their investigation.