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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 1, 2013

Taylor County, Kentucky, Felon Guilty Of Growing Marijuana For Distribution And Illegal Possession Of Firearms

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Taylor County, Kentucky felon, pleaded guilty in United States District Court this week, before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, to a two count federal grand jury indictment charging him with manufacture and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and felon in possession of firearms, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Jeff Cheatham, Jr., age 47, was charged by a federal grand jury on August 15, 2012 and pleaded guilty to the charges on February 28, 2013. Cheatham is a convicted felon having previously been sentenced in Taylor Circuit Court on February 18, 2002 to trafficking in Marijuana and first degree possession of a controlled substance.

According to the plea agreement, on July 9, 2012, in Taylor County, agents with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) located an outdoor marijuana grow on and around the property of Cheatham. Agents discovered 789 marijuana plants, located in multiple locations, in various stages of growth. DEA also located several firearms (a Savage, Model110, .30-06 caliber rifle, a Marlin Firearms Co., Model6669, .22 caliber rifle, and a Davis Arms, Model P-380, .380 caliber pistol) inside the defendant's residence.

At sentencing, Cheatham faces a combined maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a combined minimum sentence of not less than five years in prison, a fine of up to $8,250,000 and a period of supervised release of no less than five years and up to and including life. Sentencing is schedule in Bowling Green, before Senior Judge Russell at 12:30pm on July 2, 2013.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon and is being investigated by the DEA.