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Press Release

Letcher County Man Convicted of Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy and Firearm Offenses

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

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Mayking, Kentucky, man was convicted Friday, by a federal jury sitting in Pikeville, of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and firearm offenses.

After 45 minutes of deliberation, following a two-day trial, the jury convicted 64-year-old Danny Collins of trafficking more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, possession of firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.           

According to testimony at trial, beginning in November 2017 until March 2018, Collins traveled to Louisville, on multiple occasions, to purchase pound-level quantities of methamphetamine from a source of supply. Collins would then return to Letcher County and resell the methamphetamine.

Evidence presented at trial also revealed that Collins possessed a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.  Collins had previously been convicted of a serious drug felony and was not permitted by law to possess a firearm. 

Collins was indicted in June 2019.

Collins’ co-defendants pled guilty in February and will be sentenced as follows:

  • Samantha Collins, 38, of Mayking, Ky., will be sentenced on June 1, 2020.
  • Michael Slone, 43, of Red Fox, Ky., will be sentenced on June 1, 2020.
  • Kevin Quillen, 44, of Kite, Ky., will be sentenced on June 17, 2020.  

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Tommy Estevan, Acting Special Agent in Charge for ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Commissioner Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the verdict.

The investigation was conducted by ATF, Kentucky State Police, and Letcher County Sheriff’s Office.  The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Reed.   

Collins will appear for sentencing on a date set by the Court.  He faces a maximum of life in prison.  However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.

This is another case 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 Robert Duncan Jr., coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

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 March 16, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods