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Press Release

Breathitt County Man Sentenced to 180 Months for Drug Trafficking and Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Clayhole, Ky., man, Phillip Lovins, 61, was sentenced in federal court on Friday, to 180 months in prison, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, after previously pleading guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute Methadone.           

According to his plea agreement, in May 2019, law enforcement found Lovins in possession of several boxes of ammunition, a 9 mm. pistol, a 270 caliber rifle, and a plastic bag with 100 Methadone 40 mg tablets. Lovins admitted that he had obtained the Methadone from his supplier, on multiple occasions, and he sold the pills to others. Lovins further admitted that he was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Lovins pleaded guilty in February 2020. In May 2015, Lovins was convicted of several felonies, including four counts of Trafficking a Controlled Substance, one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence, and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, in Breathitt County Circuit Court.

Under federal law, Lovins must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for six years.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; Rodney Brewer, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police; and Rich Storm, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, jointly made the announcement. 

The investigation was directed by ATF, KSP, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at

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CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887

Updated August 24, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses