Versailles Man Admits Distributing Drugs That Casued Overdose Death of Woodford County Woman
Guilty plea marks the first case in Central Kentucky in which multiple defendants have been convicted of distributing opiates that caused an overdose death
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The leader of a drug conspiracy in Versailles, Ky., is the second defendant to plead guilty to distributing fentanyl that caused the overdose death of a Woodford County woman.
On Monday, Luis Aguirre-Jerardo, 28, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell to distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death. Under federal law, anyone convicted of this offense faces a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison, without parole. Aguierre-Jerardo has entered into a binding plea agreement with the federal government that will result in a sentence of at least 28 and no more than 33 years. He will be sentenced on December 8, 2016.
A co-defendant, Gill Dewayne Garrett, 30, of Lexington, Ky., pleaded guilty in April to the same offense and faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. A third co-defendant, Allen P. White, 24, of Versailles previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.
“This case demonstrates the power of our initiative to aggressively use tough federal laws punishing those that illegally distribute drugs that result in overdoses,” said Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “As a result of our overdose prosecution initiative, we removed from our streets both the retail drug dealer and his up-the-chain supplier as well. Mr. Aguirre-Jerardo was distributing substantial quantities of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, a powerful drug killing hundreds throughout the Eastern District of Kentucky. Absent our overdose initiative and the great work of our law enforcement partners, Mr. Aguirre-Jerardo and Mr. Garrett would likely remain engaged in their deadly trade.”
Aguirre-Jerardo admitted that, in July 2015, he provided a counterfeit pain pill to Garrett who distributed the pill to Jolene Bowman. Bowman consumed the pill, and subsequently died of an overdose. The pill looked like Oxycodone but instead contained fentanyl, a powerful opioid as much as 100 times more potent than morphine. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is increasingly related to overdose deaths in Kentucky. Woodford County Police used Ms. Bowman’s cell phone and traced the source of the fentanyl pill to Garrett and later found that Aguirre-Jerardo had supplied Garrett with the fentanyl that he gave to Bowman.
The autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was a drug overdose. Toxicologists concluded that had it not been for the fentanyl in the pill, Bowman would not have fatally overdosed.
U.S. Attorney Harvey, Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, and James Fugate, Chief of Police, Woodford County Police Department, jointly announced the plea.
The investigation was conducted by the Woodford County Police and the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Bradbury prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.
Garrett will be sentenced on December 8, 2016. Aguirre-Jerardo and Garrett must serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences. Any sentence imposed by the Court will come after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.