News and Press Releases

Former Washington County Deputy Sheriffs Sentenced To 50 Months In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Firearms And Drug Trafficking Charges

– Crimes committed while on duty

March 7, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY – Two former Washington County, Kentucky deputy sheriffs were sentenced by United States District Judge John G. Heyburn II today, to four years and two months in prison, followed by a three year term of supervised release, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Norris Wayne Bartley, age 44, and Billy Joe Mattingly, age 42, both of Springfield, Kentucky, pled guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and avoided a jury trial by later entering guilty pleas to carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal drug trafficking crime.

“Laws apply equally to everyone, even those who carry a badge,” commented U.S. Attorney Hale. “The actions of these men – law enforcement officers sworn to uphold and enforce the law – were reprehensible, particularly since they committed these crimes while armed and in uniform. They have been prosecuted as vigorously as possible.”

The Indictment alleged that on November 12, 2009, in Washington County, in the Western District of Kentucky, the defendants, each aided and abetted by the other, knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute an unspecified quantity of marijuana. The Indictment also alleged that the defendants carried firearms during and in relation to the drug trafficking crime. Bartley and Mattingly were in uniform and on duty as Washington County deputy sheriffs when, acting on information from a confidential informant working for the Kentucky State Police, they seized approximately thirty pounds of marijuana, intending to keep it and sell it rather than to properly impound it for law enforcement purposes. They were arrested without incident by Kentucky State Police officers who were conducting the investigation. Because they were on duty and carrying firearms, the case was referred for federal prosecution.

The penalty for the crime of possession of marijuana (less than fifty kilograms) with intent to distribute is not more than five years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least two years. The penalty for the crime of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal drug trafficking crime is at least five years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not more than five years. Bartley and Mattingly did not receive the maximum statutory penalty due to their voluntary pleas of guilty, the absence of any criminal record, and their acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with the government, in accordance with the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Larry Fentress, and it was investigated by the Kentucky State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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