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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Ten defendants charged in one of the state’s largest indoor marijuana grow operations were sentenced this week, in United States District Court, by Chief Judge Thomas B. Russell, to multiple years in prison for their roles in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
Dallas Norris, age 70, of Barren County, Kentucky, considered the ring-leader of the operation, was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, money laundering and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Nine of the ten co-defendants were sentenced, as well, for their role in the operation of this sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operation, considered by Kentucky State Police (KSP) to be one of the largest of its kind discovered in the Western District of Kentucky. An initial tip to KSP led troopers to Norris’s Glasgow, Kentucky home, where they discovered 1,267 marijuana plants on November 12, 2011.
“The successful prosecution of this multi-defendant drug production and distribution organization was made possible by a collaborative law enforcement approach,” stated David J. Hale, United States Attorney. “We are grateful for the good work of the State Police, the ATF and the Warren County Drug Task Force. As drug organizations become more sophisticated and often more brazen, we will rely on effective cooperation between federal and state authorities to protect the public and prosecute the offenders. Our communities are safer as a result of these efforts.”
“Kentucky State Police is committed to combating the marijuana drug trade,” says Rodney Brewer, KSP Commissioner. “These enterprises have no limits and further fuel other illicit criminal organizations and their violence.”
The investigation by KSP, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Warren County Drug Task Force revealed that the grow became operational in 2008 and had been producing seven to ten pounds of marijuana approximately every two weeks. Norris was selling the marijuana for $2,500 to $3,000 per pound and that he took elaborate measures to avoid detection of his operation including: illegally tapping the local power company main line to power the grow; and pumping and purifying cave water located on the property to water the extensive grow operation.
The ten co-defendants, charged in a May 16, 2012 federal superseding indictment, all pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. Josephine Polan of Flagler Beach, Florida to 18 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release; from Wellston, Ohio - Roger L. Goheen to 92 months followed by five years of supervised release, Shelli Goheen to 18 months followed by three years of supervised release, and Dennis Cain Goheen to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release; Darryl G. Newsome, Kimberly Newsome, and Darryl Allen Newsome of Springfield, Ohio to six months in prison followed by six months of home incarceration followed by two years of supervised release; Vanessa Golden of Covington, Kentucky to three years’ probation; and Victoria Kampschaefer of Louisville to three years’ probation. Garry Kampschaefer, of Louisville, awaits sentencing.
In addition to the prison sentence, Norris will forfeit to the United States, a 2006 Ford F-250 truck, property located in Barren County, Kentucky and Jackson County, Ohio, $22,621 US currency, and miscellaneous farm equipment and collectibles. Norris admitted to structuring three transactions with financial institutions between February 28, 2008 and March 12, 2008, by purchasing three cashier’s checks each in the amount of $9,000. Norris used the cashier’s checks and an additional personal payment of $6,114 to purchase the 2006 Ford truck. At the time of his arrest, Norris, a convicted felon, based upon his previous conviction for manufacturing marijuana, was in possession of two firearms.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon and was investigated by KSP, ATF and the Warren County Drug Task Force.