News Release
December 17, 2007

Owensboro Leader of D-Block Crack Cocaine
Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty

DEC 17-- LOUISVILLE, KY - James Calhoun, age 28, of 1711 McConnel Avenue, Owensboro, Kentucky, in Daviess County, entered a plea of guilty to charges stemming from an August 23, 2007, indictment involving 14 co-defendants, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. The guilty pleas were taken in Louisville, Kentucky before United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr.

Calhoun a/k/a “Jim Cat,” pled guilty to the overarching conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine. Additionally, Calhoun pled guilty to four additional counts of possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing drugs.

The facts elicited during the plea hearing that relate to Calhoun revealed that between September 2006 and August 21, 2007, DEA agents and the Owensboro Police Department were investigating the activities of a group of drug traffickers, known as D-Block, located in Owensboro, Kentucky. D-Block, which stands for “Drug Block”, refers to a geographic area “controlled” by a loose knit street gang located in Owensboro between West 8th, and 9th Streets and in the vicinity of Pennbrooke Ave. The investigation further revealed that Calhoun was the de-facto leader and principle organizer of D-Block, in that he supplied members of D-Block and other associates with drugs.

During the year long period of time alleged in the conspiracy charge, members of D-Block and other individuals associated with D-Block, conspired to sell quantities of base cocaine, otherwise known as "crack cocaine," within the community of Owensboro, Kentucky. In addition to being the de-facto leader of D-Block, Calhoun also participated in this conspiracy by selling various quantities of crack cocaine.

One of the locations where Calhoun sold crack cocaine was at the residence of co-defendant Deanna Watson, located at 327 Lucas Ave., Owensboro, KY. Between January 22, 2007, and March 19, 2007, Calhoun provided money to Watson, to help pay for food and rent. Calhouns’s contributions assisted Watson in maintaining the 327 Lucas Ave. residence, which was also being used to "rock-up" crack cocaine by members of D-Block. “Rocking-up” is the term used to describe the process of making crack cocaine out of powder cocaine.

The 9 remaining co-defendants are pending a trial date of February 11, 2008, in Owensboro, Kentucky before United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. Co-defendants Montae Goodnight and Jamie Payne pled guilty on December 12, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 27, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendants Antoni Wimsatt and Deanna Watson pled guilty on December 13, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.. Calhoun is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. All sentencing hearings will take place in Owensboro, Kentucky, before Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr.

The maximum potential penalties for Calhoun are 160 years imprisonment, a $7,500,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of no less than 4 years; and the minimal penalties are 5 years imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Kinnicutt, and it was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Owensboro Police Department, and the Kentucky State Police.