You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lexington Man Pleads Guilty to Escaping Federal Custody

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Lexington man, Billy J. Earls, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday, before U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell, to escaping federal custody.           

In his guilty plea agreement, Earls admitted that he absconded from a residential confinement center, where he had been sentenced to serve 18 months for a supervised release violation. Earls was confined to Dismas Charities, a residential center located in Fayette County, to serve the remainder of his federal sentence.  On February 11, 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service was notified that Earls had left the center, without permission. He was found, three days later, by law enforcement in Campbell County, Kentucky.            

Earls was indicted in March 2020.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Norman E. Arflack, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily K. Greenfield. 

Earls is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2020. He faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes. 

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

— END —

CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon PHONE: (859) 685-4887 E-MAIL:
Updated May 21, 2020