LONDON, KY - Two men from Knox County, Ky., were convicted by a jury of several methamphetamine related charges, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine to individuals under the age of 21.
A federal jury in London, Ky., also convicted 47-year old Russell Collins, and 46-year-old Eddie Ray Wilburn of conspiracy to manufacture 500 or more grams of a methamphetamine mixture, conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a methamphetamine mixture and possession of equipment to manufacture methamphetamine. A third defendant, 35-year-old Richard Brosky, was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or less of a methamphetamine mixture.
The jury returned the verdict Tuesday after two hours of deliberations following a six day trial.
Evidence at trial proved that from January of 2009 through April 2011, Collins, Wilburn and others manufactured meth behind a church across the street from their residences in Knox County. Testimony at trial proved that numerous people frequented the residences of Wilburn and Collins to obtain meth. The two defendants also sold meth out of another co-defendant’s residence that was near Barbourville High School.
The buyers either traded cash, pseudoephedrine, or other items used to make meth in exchange for the drug. Many of the buyers were females under 21-years of age; one woman under 21 testified Wilburn provided her meth in exchange for sex. Jurors heard testimony that Collins and Wilburn bragged about giving meth to young women.
Witnesses testified that authorities stopped Collins’ vehicle in Indiana and found an empty tank of anhydrous ammonia, a key ingredient used to make meth. Officials later searched the residences of Collins and Wilburn and discovered other equipment used to manufacture meth.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Wendy Haney, Supervisory Special Agent, United States Forest Service, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the Two Rivers task Force, The United States Forest Service and the Kentucky State Police Department. The United States was represented in the case by Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Pratt and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Lee Gentry.
The defendants are currently scheduled to appear for sentencing before United States District Court Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove in London, Ky., on September 27, 2012, at 1:30 pm. Collins and Wilburn each face a maximum sentence of life. Brosky faces a maximum of twenty years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.