News Release
June 12 2008

Kentucky Man Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Growing Hundreds of Marijuana Plants On Property
- Aerial surveillance assisted investigation

JUN 12 -- (Paducah, KY) - Ralph Sherman Akers, age 46, of 1164 Protemus Road, Farmington, Kentucky, was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in United States District Court, Paducah, Kentucky, for manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.

Thomas Russell, Judge, United States District Court, also sentenced Akers to 3 years supervised release following incarceration. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

On July 17, 2007, Kentucky State Police (KSP) was conducting a marijuana eradication effort in Calloway County. From an aerial surveillance, they observed a plot of marijuana. The following day, the KSP returned to the plot of marijuana and placed a video camera at the end of one of the rows. The video revealed an individual caught on videotape tending to some of the marijuana plants. The individual, Defendant Ralph Akers, owner of the property, was identified later through his driver’s license. KSP contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for assistance and together they interviewed Akers who consented to a search of his residence. Akers also admitted that he was growing the marijuana plants. A plant count indicated Akers was growing 249 marijuana plants on his property.

A Lis Pendens was filed against Akers' real property and the real property, commonly known as 1164 Protemus Road, Farmington, Kentucky was included for forfeiture in the Indictment. Defendant Akers agreed to pay $55,000 to the United States in lieu of forfeiture of his real property listed in the Indictment. The substitution of assets issue was addressed in a separate settlement agreement filed with the Court.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michele Thielhorn, and it was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kentucky State Police and the Calloway County Sheriff’s Department.