LONDON, Ky. – Jason A. Cottongim, 39, of Manchester, Kentucky, was sentenced yesterday, to 147 months in federal prison, by United States District Judge Robert E. Wier, for possession with the intent to distribute Xanax, being a felon in possession of firearms, and using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Judge Wier also ordered Cottongim forfeit $16,148 in cash, two firearms, and ammunition.
On April 26, 2018, Cottongim was discovered in the Save-a-lot parking lot in Manchester, armed with a loaded Smith & Wesson pistol in his pocket and a loaded semi-automatic M-11 at his feet. After rendering a hoax explosive device safe, law enforcement officers seized over 319 Xanax pills, $16,148 in cash, digital scales, distribution baggies, and ammunition from the vehicle.
Cottongim entered a guilty plea to all the charges, during his trial, in November of 2018. Under federal law, Cottongim must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for five years.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge ATF; Chris Fultz, Chief Manchester Police Department; Richard Sanders, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police; and Patrick Robinson, Clay County Sheriff; jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the ATF, Manchester Police Department, KSP, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Jenna E. Reed.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.