News Release
April 28, 2008

Three More Defendants from the
Owensboro D-Block Crack Cocaine Conspiracy Sentenced

Desmond Morton, sentenced to 5 years; Damien Thruston sentenced to 3 years 5 months; Mario Palmer, a/k/a “Peezy,” sentenced to 2 years; Five other co-defendants were previously sentenced to a total of 23 years in March

APR 28 -- OWENSBORO, KY - Desmond Morton, a/k/a "Dez", age 24, of 2755 West 9th Street, Damien Thruston, age 26, of 2616 West 9th Street, and Mario Palmer, a/k/a “Peezy”, age 28, of 816 Jackson Street, were each sentenced for their involvement with the “D-Block” crack cocaine conspiracy indictment involving 14 defendants that was filed on August 22, 2007, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.

Specifically, United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. sentenced Desmond Morton, a/k/a "Dez", to 5 years and; Damien Thruston to 3 years and 5 months; and Mario Palmer, a/k/a “Peezy” to 2 years. Judge McKinley also sentenced Morton, Thruston and Palmer to serve 4 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

In January 2008, all three defendants plead guilty to the charges stemming from the August 22, 2007, indictment which charged 14 total defendants. The facts elicited in the plea agreements for the defendants in the case 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.

Throughout this time period, 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. During the investigation, law enforcement agents learned that Morton, Thurston and Palmer participated in this conspiracy by selling "crack cocaine" to other individuals. In late August 2007, each of these defendants were arrested in a major take-down conducted by the Owensboro Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, and the DEA.

Co-defendants Antoni Wimsatt and Deanna Watson pled guilty on December 13, 2007 and Co-defendant James Calhoun pled guilty on December 14, 2007. Wimsatt, Watson and Calhoun are scheduled to be sentenced on April 30, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant Chance Morton, pled guilty on January 31, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant Troy Anderson plead guilty on March 6, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant Dewayne Hall pled guilty on January 3, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2008.

On March 27, 2008, five of the 14 co-defendants were sentenced: William Johnson, a/k/a “D-Buck,” was sentenced to 5 years 10 months; Jonathan Howard, a/k/a “240," was sentenced to 5 years; John Leak, a/k/a “Bunks,” was sentenced to 5 years; Montae Goodnight was sentenced to 5 years; and Jaime Payne was sentenced to 2 years 6 months.

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.


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