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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Owensboro Felon for Fentanyl Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

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

Bowling Green, KY – A federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned an indictment on February 14, 2024, charging an Owensboro man with possessing a fentanyl mixture with the intent to distribute it, possessing a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Special Agent in Charge Sheila G. Lyons of the DEA Chicago Field Division made the announcement.

According to the indictment, on September 6, 2023, in Daviess County, Kentucky, Donte Monzel Washington, 31, possessed with the intent to distribute a fentanyl mixture, possessed a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessed a firearm as a convicted felon. Washington was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he had previously been convicted of the following felony offenses.

On April 5, 2012, in Daviess Circuit Court, Washington, was convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree, first offense (< 4 grams cocaine).

On October 31, 2013, in Daviess Circuit Court, Washington, was convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree, first offense (>= 4 grams cocaine).

On January 17, 2018, in Daviess Circuit Court, Washington, was convicted of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

The defendant made an initial court appearance last week before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The Court ordered the defendant detained pending trial. If convicted, Washington faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

There is no parole in the federal system.  

The case is being investigated by the DEA Evansville Resident Office with assistance from the ATF, KSP, and Owensboro Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Nicholas Rabold, of the U.S. Attorney’s Bowling Green Branch Office, is prosecuting this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated April 22, 2024