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Press Release

Salyersville Man Sentenced to 120 Months for Armed Methamphetamine Trafficking

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

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Salyersville, Ky., man, Tommy Joe Minix, 35, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on Thursday, by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to his plea agreement, on April 9, 2018, Minix arranged to sell approximately three ounces of methamphetamine,.  Minix and Scott Linville, 28, of Lexington, Ky., travelled together to deliver the methamphetamine.  Before the methamphetamine could be distribute, officers executed a traffic stop and found approximately 76 grams of methamphetamine, plastic bags, digital scales, and a pistol.  A further search of Minix’s residence revealed four additional firearms and 37 grams of methamphetamine. 

Linville received 60 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and James Robert Brown, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Division, jointly made the announcement. 

The investigation was directed by the FBI.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Trimble.  

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 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 June 25, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods