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Press Release

Knott County Man Receives Four Consecutive Life Sentences for Drug Trafficking and Aggravated Sexual Abuse of Children

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

PIKEVILLE, Ky. —A federal judge has sentenced a Knott County man to four consecutive life sentences for sexually abusing young children whose parents were part of his drug trafficking operations.


On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar sentenced Freddie Kennedy, Jr., on one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone; seven counts of crossing a state line with the intent to engage in a sex act with a minor under the age of 12; and, ten counts of transporting a minor under the age of 18 across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.


Because parole is not an option under federal law, Kennedy must serve entirety of his life sentence. In February of this year, a jury convicted Kennedy of these offenses following a two-day trial.


The evidence at trial established that from April 2013 to June 2015, Kennedy organized a drug conspiracy in which several others traveled to out-of-state pain clinics to illegally obtain prescription drugs. In exchange for funding these trips, Kennedy received a portion of the drugs, which he distributed to other local dealers and drug users in the Knott and Perry County areas. Kennedy’s conspiracy was responsible for the distribution of thousands of oxycodone pills.


Evidence also established that, beginning sometime around October of 2013, Kennedy had sexual contact with four separate minor victims on multiple occasions, three of whom were under the age of the 10 at the time he abused them. Kennedy gained access to these victims because their parents were members of the conspiracy or drug addicts to whom he supplied oxycodone pills. In short, Kennedy would offer to watch the minor children while their parents were traveling to out-of-state pain clinics for him, or at home using drugs.


According to the evidence, while baby-sitting for the children, Kennedy intentionally groomed these minor victims by buying them expensive presents, as well as taking them to the movies, out to eat, and shopping as a way to win their trust.


While some of the abuse occurred at Kennedy’s residences in Perry and Knott Counties, much of it occurred on three separate out-of-state trips that Kennedy took with the minor children. Specifically, Kennedy took the victims for overnight stays at hotel/casino in located in Indiana. The minors stayed in a room with Kennedy, who was the only adult. On each of these occasions, Kennedy engaged in sexual acts with the minor victims.


Carlton Shier, IV, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police (KSP), jointly announced the sentence.


The investigation was conducted by the DEA and KSP. Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Samuel Dotson prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.

Updated March 31, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood