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Press Release

Two Northern Kentucky Men Sentenced for Armed Drug Trafficking

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

COVINGTON, Ky.A Covington man, Anthony Michaelis, 34, and an Alexandria, Ky., man, Blake Barnes, 23, were sentenced to 258 months and 60 months in federal prison, respectively, on Tuesday, by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, for possession of controlled substances, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine, with intent to distribute them, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of their drug trafficking.

According to Michaelis’ plea agreement, on January 16, 2022, individuals at a Circle K store in Dayton, Ky., approached police and told officers that two men, later identified as Michaelis and Barnes, had approached them at a gas pump and offered to sell them controlled substances.  During this encounter, Michaelis pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the group.  Law enforcement subsequently located Michaelis and Barnes and recovered the handgun.  Barnes was wearing a backpack that contained over 12 grams of fentanyl and over 3 grams of actual methamphetamine.  Officers located a bag of white powder containing over 23 grams of cocaine in the Michaelis’s pants pocket.  In 2021, Michaelis had previously been found with over 70 grams of cocaine and 346 grams of marijuana that he intended to distribute, as well as $5,320.00 in currency.  

Michaelis pleaded guilty to the charge in August 2022.  Barnes pleaded guilty in September 2022.  Michaelis has previous felony convictions for robbery, assaulting a police officer, and assaulting a prison inmate.

Under federal law, both must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences.  Upon their release from prison, Michaelis will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for six years, and Barnes will be under supervision for five years.           

Carlton S. Shier IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; Chief David Halfhill, Dayton Police Department; and Chief Brian Valeni, Covington Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Dayton Police Department; and the Covington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Bracke.

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CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887

Updated January 3, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses