News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2007

Three More Owensboro D-Block Co-Conspirators Plead Guilty To Crack Cocaine Distribution Charges
- 8 of the 14 indicted co-defendants have plead guilty
- Trial remains set for February 11, 2008 for remaining 6 co-defendants

DEC 20 -- (Owensboro, KY) - William Johnson, a/k/a “D-Buck,” age 30, 2616 West 9th Street, and Jonathan Howard, a/k/a “240," age 28, of 1008 East 7th Street, and John Leak a/k/a "Bunks," age 27, of 913 West 7th Street, all of Owensboro, Kentucky, in Daviess County, entered pleas of guilty to charges stemming from an August 23, 2007, indictment involving 14 defendants, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. The guilty pleas were taken in Owensboro, Kentucky before United States Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel.

Johnson, Howard, and Leak all pled guilty to the overarching conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine. Additionally, all three defendants pled guilty to separate counts of possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine, which occurred during the time frame charged in the conspiracy.

The facts elicited during the plea hearing that relate to Johnson, Howard, and Leak 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 Avenue.

Throughout this period of time, 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 Johnson, Howard, and Leak participated in this conspiracy by selling various quantities of crack cocaine.

The 6 remaining co-defendants are pending a trial date of February 11, 2008, in Owensboro, Kentucky, before United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. Co-defendants Montae Goodnight and Jamie Payne pled guilty on December 12, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 27, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendants Antoni Wimsatt and Deanna Watson pled guilty on December 13, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant James Calhoun pled guilty on December 14, 2007, and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. All sentencing hearings will take place in Owensboro, Kentucky, before Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr.

The maximum potential penalties for Johnson and Howard are 60 years imprisonment, a $3,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of no less than 4 years; and the minimum penalties are 5 years imprisonment. The maximum potential penalties for Leak are 100 years imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of no less than 4 years; and the minimum penalties are 5 years imprisonment.

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.

All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., on March 27, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in Owensboro, Kentucky.

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