PADUCAH, KY. - David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today that a federal jury in Paducah, Kentucky, has found three Christian County, Kentucky, men guilty of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. Convicted were, James Lamonte Dunbar age 29, and Rodney Edward Moore age 31, who face mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole, and Dwayne Michael Joseph age 28, who faces a mandatory sentence of 20 years to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
According to evidence presented at trial from 2007 through 2009, the men were responsible for distributing more than 100 kilograms of crack cocaine in Christian County, Kentucky, and beyond. Crack cocaine is a schedule II controlled substance.
On July 2, a Paducah, Kentucky federal grand jury returned an indictment of 21 persons, including these three defendants, for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. With the exception of Dunbar, Moore and Joseph, 17 others indicted entered guilty pleas and are scheduled to be sentenced during the last three days of March, 2011. Between eight to ten of those awaiting sentencing testified in open court against the three defendants.
The mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole applies to Dunbar and Moore, as they both have two prior drug felony convictions. Federal law requires twenty years to life behind bars without the possibility of parole for Joseph who has one prior drug felony conviction.
Taking the lead in this nearly two year-long investigation was the DEA, with assistance from Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Christian County Drug Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Larry Fentress.
Dunbar, Moore and Joseph are scheduled for sentencing April 28, 2011, before United States District Court Judge Thomas Russell.