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Owensboro, KY – Yesterday, a federal jury in Owensboro, Kentucky convicted two local men of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Sheila G. Lyons of the DEA Chicago Field Division, and Chief Art Ealum of the Owensboro Police Department made the announcement.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Cedric Swanagan, 37, and Courtland Reed, 32, were convicted of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine between September 2021 and April 4, 2022, in Daviess County, Kentucky and elsewhere. The jury also convicted both Swanagan and Reed of possession with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine on February 22, 2022, in Daviess County and elsewhere. The evidence presented at trial included recorded phone calls between the defendants that were intercepted during a federal wiretap investigation and evidence involving approximately 876 grams of pure methamphetamine associated with the defendants.
The jury further found that Swanagan had committed one serious drug felony and that Reed had committed one serious drug felony and one violent felony prior to committing the offenses in this case. These findings increased the mandatory minimum sentences for both defendants.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 25, 2024, before a United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. Swanagan and Reed both remain in federal custody pending sentencing. Swanagan faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison. Reed faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years a maximum of life 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 DEA and the Owensboro Police Department investigated this case, with assistance from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Indiana State Police, the Kentucky State Police, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, and the Owensboro-Daviess County Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AHIDTA) Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Dahl and Josh Porter are prosecuting the case, with assistance from paralegal specialist Aaron Cooper.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.