News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2008

Four Members of Owensboro D-Block Crack Cocaine Conspiracy and an Associated Money Launderer Sentenced

MAR 31 -- OWENSBORO, KY - William Johnson, a/k/a “D-Buck,” age 29, of 2616 West 9th Street, Jonathan Howard, a/k/a “240,” age 28, of 1008 East 7th Street, John Leak, a/k/a “Bunks,” age 26, of 913 West 7th Street, and Montae Goodnight, age 19, of 2845 McFarland Avenue were each sentenced for their involvement with the “D-Block” crack cocaine conspiracy indictment that was filed on August 22, 2007, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. Jamie Payne, age 39, of 1581 Barclay Avenue, although not a member of D-Block, was also sentenced on money laundering charges arising out this same indictment.

Specifically, United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. sentenced William Johnson, a/k/a “D-Buck,” to 5 years and 10 months; Jonathan Howard, a/k/a “240,” was sentenced to 5 years; John Leak, a/k/a “Bunks,” was sentenced to 5 years; Montae Goodnight, was sentenced to 5 years; and Jamie Payne was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months. Judge McKinley also sentenced Johnson, Howard, Leak, and Goodnight to 4 years of supervised release. Payne was ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release in addition to forfeiting $50,000 of money laundered proceeds. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

U.S. Attorney Huber praised the work of the Owensboro Police Department saying, “excellent police work and cooperation by the Owensboro Police Department in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration can result in significant benefit to the community.”

In December 2007, all five defendants plead guilty to the charges stemming from the August 22, 2007, indictment which charged 14 total defendants. The facts contained in the plea agreements for Johnson, Howard, Leak, and Goodnight revealed that in 2006, law enforcement officers from the Owensboro Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating 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, Leak, and Goodnight participated in this conspiracy by selling various quantities of crack cocaine. On August 23, 2007, each of these defendants were arrested in a major take-down conducted by the Owensboro Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, and the DEA.

The facts contained in the plea agreement for Jamie Payne revealed between June 25, 2007 and August 1, 2007, Jamie Payne was the general manager at the Second Chance used car dealership in Owensboro, Kentucky. During this period of time, Jamie Payne did conduct several financial transactions with a DEA confidential informant, hereinafter CI, in regards to providing vehicles to this CI. During the recorded conversations with the CI, Jamie Payne was aware and did believe that the CI was going to use the vehicles for illegal drug related activities. Furthermore, the payments made to Jamie Payne from the CI were explained as being the proceeds of the CI’s illegal activity. The quantity of illegal proceeds that were laundered through the Second Chance Auto Dealership was approximately $50,000.

Co-defendants Antoni Wimsatt and Deanna Watson pled guilty on December 13, 2007, and are scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. Co-defendant James Calhoun pled guilty on December 14, 2007, and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. Co-defendants Desmond Morton, Dewayne Hall, and Mario Palmer, pled guilty on January 3, 2008. Morton and Palmer are scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., and Hall on May 16, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. Co-defendant Damien Thruston, pled guilty on January 17, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant Chance Morton, pled guilty on January 31, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. Co-defendant Troy Anderson plead guilty on March 6, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.

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.

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