Drug Enforcement Administration


Keith Martin (Acting), Special Agent in Charge

January 11, 2017

Contact: Brian McNeal

Phone Number: (571) 362-1498

Drug Dealer In Kentucky Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison For Distributing Fentanyl That Led To Overdose Death

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The leader of a drug trafficking organization that brought significant amounts of heroin and fentanyl, from Detroit, Michigan for distribution in Richmond, Kentucky, has been sentenced to life in prison for distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of a Madison (KY) resident.

On January 9th, 2017, United States District Judge Danny Reeves sentenced Navarius Westberry, 38,
originally from Michigan, but currently living in Lexington, Kentucky to the life sentence, for distributing a controlled substance that resulted in overdose death.  The law states that any individual convicted under this law is subject to a prison term of 20 years to life. After an extensive hearing, Judge Reeves imposed the life sentence. 

“The facts of this case are particularly disturbing,” said Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Mr. Westberry and his co-conspirators moved to Kentucky from Michigan for the sole purpose of establishing a large scale distribution network for heroin and fentanyl. The drugs sold by the Westberry organization caused multiple overdoses, including fatalities. The evidence indicates that Mr. Westberry knew the drugs sold by his organization were particularly dangerous.  Mr. Westberry exhibited a callous disregard for human life in his quest for easy money.”

Westberry admitted that, from January 2014, until August 2015, he organized and operated a drug trafficking organization in Richmond that distributed between 750 grams and one kilogram of heroin and 50 grams of fentanyl. Fentanyl, which is many times stronger than heroin, can be lethal in the 2 mg range.

Westberry also admitted that in March 2016, he supplied heroin and fentanyl to others, which led to the overdose death of 25 year-old Corey Brewer. The toxicology report and autopsy showed that Brewer’s death was caused by toxic levels of fentanyl.

This case marks the first time in the Eastern District of Kentucky that the federal overdose penalties were applied in a case involving defendants from Michigan, whose distribution of drugs in Kentucky caused an overdose.

Four other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, including codefendant, Benjamin Fredrick Charles Robinson, 21, also from Detroit, who was sentenced to 20 years for distributing a controlled substance that caused overdose.

U.S. Attorney Harvey was joined in making this announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Division, and Robert Mott, Acting Police Chief of the Richmond, Kentucky, Police Department.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA and the Richmond Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Bradbury prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.

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