News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2008

Owensboro Crack Cocaine Distributor Pleads Guilty
- 12 of the 14 indicted co-defendants have plead guilty
- Trial remains set for February 11, 2008 for remaining 2 co-defendants

JAN 18 -- (Owensboro, KY) - Damien Thruston, age 25, of Owensboro, Kentucky, in Daviess County, entered a plea 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 plea was taken in Owensboro, Kentucky before United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr.

Thruston pled guilty to two counts of possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The facts elicited during the plea hearing revealed that on December 12, 2006, Owensboro Police Officers executed a search warrant at 616 J.R. Miller Road in Owensboro, Kentucky. This was a residence where Damien Thruston had occasionally been staying. During the search, officers found approximately seven grams of crack cocaine along with a scale, and a couple of baggies of marijuana. The crack cocaine belonged to Thruston and was intended to be sold to others. The following month, on January 19, 2007, Damien Thruston sold approximately 0.5 grams of "crack cocaine" to a law enforcement confidential informant in exchange for $50.

The two remaining co-defendants, Troy Anderson and Chance Morton, 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. Co-defendants Jonathan Howard, William Johnson, and John Leak pled guilty on December 20, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 27, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendants Desmond Morton, Dewayne Hall, and Mario Palmer, pled guilty on January 3, 2008, and are scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 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 Damien Thruston 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 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.

Thruston is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., on April 25, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in Owensboro, Kentucky.

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