Drug Enforcement Administration


Keith Martin (Acting), Special Agent in Charge

January 20, 2011

Contact: Brian McNeal

Phone Number: (571) 362-1498

Kentucky Crack Cocaine Trafficking Operation Halted

Two year investigation nets thirteen arrests with more expected

OWENSBORO, KY - An early morning drug sweep in Henderson, Kentucky, conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies, has resulted in thirteen arrests on charges for possession and distribution of cocaine and additional drug related offenses.

The arrests are the culmination of a nearly two year long cooperative investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), Henderson Police Department, Owensboro Police Department, and other assisting law enforcement agencies.

This multi-agency sting known as Operation Lucky Strike, revealed an active conspiracy in the Henderson community to smuggle large quantities of powder cocaine as well as crack cocaine from the Atlanta, Georgia area, into Henderson and Owensboro, Kentucky.

More arrests are expected in this criminal conspiracy to possess and distribute at least, if not more than, 30 kilograms of powder and crack cocaine, a schedule II controlled substance. The group is estimated by investigators to have profited more than a ½ million dollars over the course of the conspiracy.

Ten defendants have been named in an Owensboro, Kentucky, federal grand jury Indictment for distribution of more than 5 kilograms of crack cocaine and distribution of more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Eight of the defendants are in custody including Richard Green, age 30, Jim Joseph, age 26, Johnathan Lemons, age 38, Germaine Price, age 32, Josh Sherretz, age 28, Billy Sutton, age 25, Gerald Thomas, age 26, and Kahine Walker, age 31.

In the event of a conviction, the maximum potential penalty is life in prison without parole. These charges carry a minimum mandatory sentence of at least ten years. The remaining defendants have been arrested on state charges from Trafficking controlled substance 1st degree cocaine to Possession of controlled substance 1st degree.

Law enforcement agencies believe the arrests today will severely damage this major pipeline for cocaine which stretched from Atlanta, Georgia, to Henderson, Kentucky.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Scott Davis, the Davies County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bruce Kuegal, and William I. Markwell, the Henderson Co. Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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

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