Owensboro Drug Trafficking Organization Members Indicted For Methamphetamine And Fentanyl Trafficking Operation | USAO-WDKY

OWENSBORO, Ky. – Fifteen defendants involved in an Owensboro based Drug Trafficking Organization have been charged by a federal Grand Jury for engaging in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, among other charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Michael A. Bennett.

“The allegations involve large quantities of illegal drugs bound for the Western District of Kentucky,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bennett.  “I commend the DEA for spearheading the criminal investigation into this activity as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners – both here in the Commonwealth and from across the U.S. – who assisted in the effort.”   

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Michael Gannon said, “Operation Reapin Benefits in support of DEA’s Operation Crystal Shield, was a perfect example of how local, federal and state law enforcement partners collaborated at the highest possible levels and crushed a violent drug trafficking organization operating out of Owensboro, Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, Orange County, California, Phoenix, Arizona and ultimately Mexico.”

“During the course of this investigation the fine men and women of the Owensboro Police Department, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office members of the DEA Indiana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) River City Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives conducted ten judicially authorized federal write-taps on members of this Owensboro based drug trafficking organization which to date has resulted in the seizure of (238) pounds of methamphetamine, (81) pounds of marijuana, (4.5) pounds of fentanyl pills, (20) ounces of cocaine, (23) firearms including assault rifles with high capacity magazines, $350,000 USC, (6) vehicles, and the arrest of 28 individuals on federal/state drug charges.  DEA commends the outstanding work by the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Kentucky, the Daviess County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and all the agencies who participated in this multi-jurisdictional investigation.”

“These violent organizations use every means to push their drugs and criminal activities into communities both large and small,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division. “In this instance, the DTO used firearms to further their drug trade and caused serious harm to Kentucky.  Our message is clear, if you distribute drugs and violate firearms laws, ATF and our law enforcement partners will work together to hold you accountable.  These indictments, announced today, are the result of a coordinated effort of local, state, and federal agencies all committed to reducing violent crime and making our communities safer places to live.”   

“The men and women of the Owensboro Police Department remain committed to working with our many partners to effectively reduce violent crime in our city. Said Owensboro Police Chief Art Ealum. Violent crime is a well-known byproduct of the illicit drug trade. We are grateful to the many agencies that worked cohesively with our Street Crimes Unit to investigate this Drug Trafficking Organization and successfully secure indictments for those involved.  

Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain said, “These indictments are the result of an ongoing investigation that initially identified (5) Co-conspirators in a major narcotics criminal enterprise operating in the Owensboro-Daviess County area. This collaborative effort by the Owensboro Police Dept, Daviess Co Sheriff’s Office, DEA, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky continues, with the possibility of additional persons involved being charged.”

The Indictment follows criminal complaints filed against 5 members of the organization in January 2021 and the seizure of approximately 151 pounds of methamphetamine, 3.5 pounds of suspected fentanyl disguised as pharmaceutical pills, multiple firearms, and over $350,000 in United States Currency.  According to the federal Indictment, members of the Drug Trafficking Operation, as early as 2016 and continuing through January 13, 2021, conspired with each other and others to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.  The Indictment also alleges the possession of firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking.  The members of the organization were charged as follows:

Willie Watkins, 30, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Richard Cason, 29, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison. Additionally, Mr. Cason is charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking for events occurring on or about January 13, 2021.

Keith Watkins, 28, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Keith Watkins has also been charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl for events occurring between on or about January 12, 2021, and January 13, 2021.

Samuel White, 27, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Mr. White has also been charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine for events occurring on or about October 1, 2019.

Christopher McNary, 31, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Mr. McNary has also been charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine for events occurring on or about November 6, 2020.

William Harvey Duhart, 37, of Phoenix, Arizona, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charge carries no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Ryan Thruston, 33, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Ryan Thruston has also been charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, and Receipt or Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.

James Antonio Smith, 37, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Derrick Lamont Bullitt, 37, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Karlchaze D. Thruston, 32, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Karlchaze Thruston has not yet been apprehended at this time and is a wanted fugitive. 

Nache Moore, 31, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Jeremy Poiles, 39, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.  If convicted, the charge carries no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Mr. Poiles has also been charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine for events occurring on or about December 11, 2020.  Jeremy Poiles has not yet been apprehended at this time and is a wanted fugitive. 

Darrion Lamont Moody, 35, of Evansville, Indiana has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charge carries no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.  Mr. Moody has also been charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl for events between on or about January 2, 2021, and January 6, 2021.

Devon Harris, 22, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

Joan E. Johnson, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has been charged with Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl.  If convicted, the charges carry no less than a mandatory 10 years in federal prison.

The investigation is being led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (Evansville Indiana Resident Office, Albuquerque District Office, Phoenix Field Division, Orange County District County Office, Oklahoma City, Flagstaff Resident Office, Paducah POD, Springfield, Missouri, and SOD);  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bowling Green, Kentucky; HSI Oklahoma City; Owensboro Kentucky Police Department, Daviess County Sheriff’s Office; Criminal Interdiction Team of Central Oklahoma; Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office; Oklahoma City Police Department; Arizona Highway Patrol; and the Daviess County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

  * * *

The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.                                      

###

Source link

Author: Editor
The website is owned by STL.News, LLC. However, the website is hosted, designed, and maintained by WebTech Group, a web host, and design agency based in St. Louis, Missouri. USDOJ.Today focuses on aggregating content from the US Attorney's Offices around the country. STL.News uses this content to publish national news at https://STL.News