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Press Release

Kentucky Drug Dealer Sentenced to Over 16 Years in Federal Prison for Selling Methamphetamine at his Place of Employment While on Supervised Release

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

EVANSVILLE– Ronnie Rich Jr., 43, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

According to court documents, on April 1, 2021, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana security learned that Rich was possibly under the influence of a controlled substance and was possibly distributing controlled substances on the Toyota property. Toyota security approached Rich, asked him to empty his pockets and advised Rich that his backpack would be searched. Rich told Toyota security that he’d done nothing wrong and began walking away.

Toyota security followed Rich as he walked through the factory and they saw Rich hand $1,250 in U.S. currency to a female, later identified as Rich’s girlfriend. Toyota security told Rich that if he was not going to comply with their investigation, he needed to turn over his Toyota badge. Rich turned over his badge and exited the factory into the parking lot. Rich then ran into nearby woods. Toyota security attempted to locate Rich with a drone, but they were unsuccessful.

Toyota security searched the backpack that Rich had abandoned in the factory and found two baggies containing methamphetamine and digital scales. A police laboratory confirmed the two baggies contained 237.9 grams of methamphetamine. Toyota security reviewed video surveillance footage of Rich entering the factory with the backpack that contained the methamphetamine.

At the time he was selling methamphetamine at his workplace, Rich was still on supervised release after being sentenced to 7 years in federal prison in 2011 for methamphetamine distribution in the Western District of Kentucky.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.

The DEA investigated the case. The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young. As part of the sentence, Judge Young ordered that Rich be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for four years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren M. Wheatley who prosecuted this case.

Updated October 25, 2022

Topic
Drug Trafficking