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Press Release

Montgomery County Man Sentenced to 78 Months for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

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

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Mt. Sterling, Kentucky man, Shawn Perkins, 22, was sentenced in federal court on Thursday, to 78 months in prison, by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin, possession of a firearm by prohibited person, and using a false statement to purchase a firearm.           

According to Perkins’ plea agreement, on October 10, 2018, law enforcement received complaints that Perkins was firing an AR-15 rifle into the field across from his house.  When officers arrived at the residence, Perkins was uncooperative; but upon entry into the residence, officers located a Bushmaster AR-15 box, ammunition, a jar of marijuana, and approximately $1,000 in cash.  Officers also located a gun case, with an additional seven firearms, assorted ammunition, cash, scales, heroin, various pills, and $3,000 cash.

The Bushmaster AR-15 was located inside the safe and Perkins had purchased the firearm on October 2, 2018.  However, on August 9, 2018, Perkins had been denied the ability to purchase the very same firearm, based upon his prior conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.  On the Firearms Transaction Record he filled out when he was allowed to purchase the firearm, Perkins falsely answered that he had never been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence.  Perkins had been convicted of Assault Fourth Degree Domestic Violence Minor Injury by the Fleming District Court in September 2011. 

Perkins also admitted that, on August 28, 2019, while serving the arrest warrant on his indictment, law enforcement officers encountered Perkins, at his home, and found him in possession of 728 oxycodone tablets, a 22 pistol, .38 caliber pistol, scales, and $8,712 in cash.

Perkins pleaded guilty in May 2020.

Under federal law, Perkins must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Sheriff David Charles, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, jointly made the announcement. 

The investigation was directed by the ATF and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Rieker.

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 also 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 August 13, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods