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Press Release

Lexington Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 260 Months Imprisonment

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

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Michael J. West, 39, of Lexington, was sentenced today, by U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood, to 260 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to distribute, three counts of distribution, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On April 11, 2018, Lexington police officers executed a search warrant at West’s apartment, where they located a safe in the refrigerator containing approximately 231 grams of heroin, 150 grams of fentanyl, 78 grams of cocaine, and 22 grams of crack cocaine.  In West’s bedroom, officers located cutting agents, a blender with white powder residue, digital scales, naloxone, and other drug trafficking paraphernalia.  Officers also located two loaded semi-automatic pistols and more than $37,000 in cash.

During the course of the investigation, officers conducted multiple controlled buys of heroin and fentanyl from conspiracy members and learned that West and his co-conspirators, Timothy Darnell Bryant, 48, of Detroit, Kezzle Cortez Reeves, 37, of Detroit, and Jerry Lee Tolbert, 55 of Lexington, were traveling to Detroit, to obtain heroin, fentanyl, and other controlled substances, which they would then transport back to Lexington for distribution.  The defendants used West’s apartment as a stash house where they would store the drugs prior to distributing them.

Previously in December 2018, Bryant pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin.  Tolbert pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm. And, on December 6, 2018, Reeves was convicted of distributing heroin and fentanyl after a three-day jury trial. West’s co-defendants are awaiting sentencing.

West will be required to serve at least 85% of the sentence imposed. Upon his release, he will be under supervision by the United States Probation Office for a period of 6 years.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Christopher Evans, Special Agent in Charge, DEA; and Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Bradley and Rajbir Datta prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated March 5, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses