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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lexington Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in Fentanyl and Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Melvin T. Mahone, Jr., age 30, of Lexington  Ky., pleaded guilty today to possession with the intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl and to possessing firearms in furtherance of the distribution of fentanyl. 

In the course of his guilty plea, Mahone admitted to living in a house on American Avenue in Lexington on October 20, 2016, when members of the Lexington Police Department executed a search warrant.  Mahone was found to be in possession of 60.6 grams of fentanyl, which he intended to sell to street level users.  Fentanyl is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that has been responsible for many of overdose deaths in Kentucky over the past two years. 

During the course of the guilty plea, Mahone also admitted to the possession of a loaded .38 caliber revolver and a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic assault type rifle.  These two firearms were found in close proximity to Mahone.  Mahone acknowledged that the firearms were used in furtherance of the distribution of fentanyl.  Mahone also admitted that he had previously been convicted of the federal drug trafficking felony of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in 2008.  Mahone was indicted by a grand jury in April of 2017.

Robert M. Duncan Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department and Stuart Lowery, Special Agent in Charge,  Alcohol tobacco and Firearms, jointly made the announcement today after Mahone entered his guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by Lexington Police Department and the ATF.  The United States was represented in the case by Assistant United States Attorney Roger W. West.

Mahone is currently scheduled to appear for sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Karen K. Caldwell in Lexington  on June 26, 2018, at 11:00 a.m.  Mahone  faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years. 

This case were prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 21, 2018