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Press Release

Final Defendant Sentenced in Large-Scale Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
Conspiracy involved armed drug trafficking and large quantities of high purity methamphetamine

LONDON, Ky. – A Somerset, Ky., man, Dennie Smith, 50, was sentenced to 217 months on Monday, by U.S. District Judge Robert Wier, for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Smith is the last of six defendants sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy.   

According to his guilty plea agreement, between November 2021 and May 2022, Smith developed a relationship with a methamphetamine supplier from Pulaski County and regularly obtained pound quantities of methamphetamine, for resale.  Smith also assisted this supplier in obtaining multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine from another source for drugs, in Fayette County.

In February 2022, law enforcement seized a safe from a residence Smith shared with his co-defendants and located more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, three loaded firearms, and a large amount of cash.  Smith admitted that these items belonged to him, that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine, and that he possessed the firearms to protect his drug trafficking operation.  Then, in May 2022, Smith travelled to Fayette County to obtain methamphetamine.  On his return, he was stopped by law enforcement, who seized more than nine kilograms of high purity methamphetamine.  

Smith’s co-defendants have previously received the following sentences:

  • Wesley Calhoun:  240 months and five years of supervised release;
  • Timothy Grundy:  235 months and five years supervised release;
  • Michael Henderson:  104 months and three years of supervised release;
  • David Upchurch:  78 months and three years of supervised release; and
  • Autumn Smith: 76 months and three years of supervised release.

Under federal law, Smith and his co-defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences.  Upon his release from prison, Smith will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for four years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA, Louisville Field Division; and Chief William Hunt, Somerset Police Department, announced the sentences. 

The investigation was conducted by the DEA and Somerset Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Trimble prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. 

This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.  It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts.  In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

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CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE:  (859) 685-4887


Updated December 12, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses