In July 14 Issue
Nineteen defendants from Adair, Butler and Russell counties were sentenced last week in United States District Court for their role in a crack cocaine and controlled substance distribution ring operating in and around Adair County, according to David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
According to evidence presented in court, the drug trafficking organization operated between July 2007 and May 2009 and was responsible for the distribution of at least 300 kilograms of crack cocaine and prescription pills with an estimated street value in excess of $10 million, in and around Adair County.
Thirty defendants were indicted by federal grand juries meeting in Bowling Green between May 2009 and January 2010, on charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances including Suboxome, hydrocodone and Xanax. According to evidence presented in court, brothers Roderick Curry and Mark Vincent Curry, both of Columbia, operated the drug trafficking conspiracy that included family members and others from Adair, Barren, Russell and Taylor counties in Kentucky and Sumner County, Tennessee.
Proof of the conspiracy was obtained through a nearly two year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kentucky State Police by means of surveillance, the use of informants to purchase drugs and wire taps of cellular telephone calls. The wire taps were in effect for 60 days and recorded more than 1,500 phone calls related to the drug conspiracy.
All thirty defendants charged in this conspiracy, including the Curry brothers, have pled guilty and are being sentenced in United States District Court by Chief Judge Thomas B. Russell. This week, the sentences for 19 defendants ranged from three years probation to 15 years in federal prison. Seventeen defendants were sentenced for their various roles in the conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute prescription pills. Sentenced were: Briceson Walkup, 180 months and 3 years supervised release; Mark Curry, 180 months and five years supervised release; Joseph Scotland Smith, Teresa L. Richardson, John Andrew Johnson, Jarrid DeCarlo Smith and Faye Thompson, 120 months and five years supervised release; Shamonica Leigh Jones and Travis Delbert Crew, 70 months and five years supervised release; Tavana Nicole Stone, 63 months and five years supervised release; Cassie M. Strunk, 60 months and four years supervised release; Melissa Dawn Owens and Steven Wayne Williams, 57 months and three years supervised release; Kelvin Bowers, 51 months and five years supervised release; Lakeisha Jones, 46 months and five years supervised release; Houston Murray, 36 months and three years supervised release; Vickie Sue Passmore, 18 months and five years supervised release. Jodi Momanyi and Ethel Mae Bridgewater were sentenced to three years probation for conspiring to distribute schedule III controlled substances. There is no parole in the federal court system.
The remaining defendants are scheduled for sentencing later this month and August, 2011 in United States District Court, Bowling Green, before Chief Judge Russell.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and it was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kentucky State Police.