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Press Release

Las Vegas Man Convicted of Possessing Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute After Traffic Stop on I-80

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

Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Patrick Lewis McKinney, 42, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced today in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska, for possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced McKinney to 78 months’ imprisonment.  He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after his release from prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

On August 3, 2022, law enforcement had a sign out indicating a checkpoint was ahead on I-80 in Dawson County, Nebraska. Jeno Paulucci was the driver and McKinney was the passenger of a vehicle approaching that sign. Paulucci exited the highway and parked on the wrong side of the road. Law enforcement initiated a traffic stop and smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Paulucci did not have a driver’s license, registration, or insurance.  Law enforcement subsequently searched the vehicle and located 63 grams of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl pills, kief, and ecstasy pills.  Law enforcement also located various dangerous weapons to include two machetes, multiple bladed weapons, a baton taser, and a firearm.

Jeno Paulucci has also pleaded guilty in this case.  He will be sentenced on August 15, 2023. 

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol.


Matt Lierman – Chief, Drug Enforcement Unit (402) 661-3700

Updated July 24, 2023