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CITY, KY - A federal indictment, unsealed today, charges 28 individuals from Whitley County, KY., with a conspiracy to manufacture large quantities of methamphetamine.
Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Kentucky State Police (KSP), U.S. Marshal’s Office (USMS) and the Williamsburg Police Department arrested eight defendants this morning in Whitley County. All of the other defendants are already in custody.
On Thursday, July 25, a superseding indictment, which is a charging document that alters or changes information from a previous indictment, was returned sealed by a federal grand jury in London. The superseding indictment added 16 new defendants in a conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of a methamphetamine mixture over the course of approximately three and a half years. The original indictment, filed in May, charged 12 defendants in the conspiracy. The superseding indictment also charges some of the defendants with additional drug and firearm offenses.
Specifically, 35 year-old James Forest Manning is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense and being an unlawful user of methamphetamine in possession of firearms. Jamie Mark Gibson 41, and Danny Lee Fyffe, 49, are charged with being unlawful users of methamphetamine in possession of a firearm.
The superseding indictment also alleges that Daniel John Moeser, 44, possessed firearms and explosives after having previously been convicted of a felony offense. Lisa Canada Ball, 49, is charged with being an unlawful user of methamphetamine in possession of firearms and explosives. Both defendants were charged with these offenses in the original indictment.
The other defendants indicted in the case are Bobby Darrell Canada, II, 26; David Allen Davis, 29; Robert Joe Gibson, 23; Michelle Manning, 33; Wayne Marcus, 32; Billy Ray Richardson, 35; Anthony Rose, 32; Jerry White, 36; Beverly Wilson, 28; James Bennett, 39; Wendell Ralph Canada, 31; Ryan David Carlson, 36; George Thomas Hubbard, 49; Mark A. Morrow, 46; Harrison B. Sulfridge, 33; Joanna Cansler, 55; Teanna Marie Cansler, 33; Robert Church, 27; William Helbig, Jr., 36; Suzann Judy Phillips, 49; Anna Davis, 24; Jason Wade Taylor, 31 and Aaron David Ellison, 35;
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Stuart L. Lowery, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Wayne Bird, Police Chief, Williamsburg Police Department and Loren Carl, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky, jointly announced the superseding indictment today.
The investigation preceding the indictment was a result of a joint collaboration between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Post 11 of the Kentucky State Police, the Williamsburg Police Department; the U.S. Marshal’s Office; Kentucky Division of Probation and Parole; the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for the 34th Judicial Circuit.
Arraignments for some defendants are set for August 2, 2013, while the defendants arrested today will make their initial appearances in court tomorrow. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Manning faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of life for carrying and using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Additionally, he faces a maximum of 20 years for the manufacturing methamphetamine charge. The defendants charged with firearm/weapons offenses face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Any indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.