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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Feds Charge 14 For Multi-Year Armed Drug Conspiracy Associated With Gang-Related Activity In Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A multi-year, multi-agency effort targeting violent crime in Louisville has resulted in a significant number of arrests and federal charges for the armed distribution of deadly drugs including fentanyl in the city, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.

Fourteen individuals have been arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine in one of the largest federal takedowns of its type in recent history in Louisville. The charges are an outgrowth of a targeted focus on violent crime in Louisville following historic homicide rates in 2016 and a one third increase in murders and over 100% increase in shootings in the city thus far in 2020.

“The single most impactful way to demonstrate that the lives of Black families, their children, and young men of color actually do matter in Louisville is to reduce murders and shootings in their neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “This unified effort to dismantle a group driver of violence in this city builds on our increased federal prosecution over the last three years of the trigger-pullers that are decimating Black families and flooding the UofL Emergency Department with victims.”

“Last year, FBI Louisville and its law enforcement partners initiated an investigation into a neighborhood-based gang after it was identified as being one of Louisville's most violent,” said FBI Special Agent In-Charge Robert Brown Jr. “This operation was the culmination of a strategic targeting of violent offenders. We recognize people living in areas impacted by violence deserve to see their children grow up in safe neighborhoods.  The FBI is dedicated to doing its part, but it will take everyone working together to root out violence, mistrust, and fear.”

“Drug dealers with guns are violent criminals who pose an increased threat to the safety of our communities,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division. “ATF and our partners disrupted a criminal organization operating in metro Louisville, by identifying violent offenders and their sources of crime guns and taking them off the street. We will continue to work closely with local and federal law enforcement to keep our communities safe and to hold offenders accountable.”

According to a federal grand jury indictment, beginning December 7, 2017, through June 17, 2020, all 14 defendants knowingly conspired to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and methamphetamine. The defendants include: Levontay Townes, Deonte Beason, Dariyon Newsome, Kevone Evans, Khalid Ashanti Raheem II, Frank Trammel Jr., Destiney Lashai Rhodes, Kevin Henry, Jen-Luc Henry, Reginald Harris, James Bivens, Pierre Travis, and Jason Edwin Logsdon.

The charge carries a penalty of no less than 5 years, and no more than 40 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $5 million, and no less than 4 years of supervised release. If a defendant has a prior qualifying conviction, the charge carries no less than 10 years and no more than life in prison, and no less than 8 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Destiney Lashai Rhodes also faces a charge of false statement during the purchase of a firearm in connection with the December 11, 2019, purchase of an F.N., model Five-Seven, 5.7 millimeter pistol and a Del-Ton Inc., model DTI-15, 5.56 millimeter pistol.

The charge carries a penalty of no more than 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and no more than 3 years supervised release.

Frank Trammell Jr., faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. On or about December 11, 2019, Trammell possessed an F.N., model Five-Seven, 5.7 millimeter pistol and a Del-Ton Inc., model DTI-15, 5.56 millimeter pistol. The defendant had been previously convicted in Jefferson County on August 30, 2018, in case number 17-CR-3414, of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On February 25, 2014, he was convicted in case number 13-CR-0858-003, of trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree (more than 4 grams of cocaine), possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, enhanced trafficking in marijuana, and enhanced possession of drug paraphernalia, all felonies. On August 15, 2013, Trammell was also convicted in case number 11-CR-0400-004, of complicity to commit burglary in the first degree, a felony.

The charge carries a penalty of no more than 10 years, a maximum fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release. With three prior qualifying convictions the charge carries a penalty of no less than 15 years, a maximum fine of $250,000, and no more than 3 years supervised release.

The Grand Jury further charged Dariyon Newsome and Kevone Evans with possession on March 10, 2020, of a Smith & Wesson, model M&P15, 5.56 caliber rifle, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a quantity of a mixture and substance containing heroin with the intent to distribute.

The charge carries a mandatory 5 year term of imprisonment consecutive to the underlying possession with intent to distribute sentence, and no more than life, a maximum fine of $250,000, and no more than 5 years supervised release.

Levontay Townes was further charged by the Grand Jury with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. On May 14, 2020. Townes did knowingly possess a Springfield 9 millimeter pistol and ammunition. The defendant has previously been convicted in Jefferson County in case number 11-CR-0173-003 and in case number 10-CR-3252-001, of robbery in the second degree (two counts), possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree (cocaine), and tampering with physical evidence, all felonies.  On May 10, 2010, Townes was convicted in Jefferson County in case number 08-CR-3681-001, of robbery in the first degree, a felony.

The charge carries a penalty of no more than 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and no more than 3 years supervised release.

Townes also faces charges for possession with intent to distribute heroin, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

He faces no more than 20 years for possession with intent to distribute heroin, no less than 5 years in a consecutive sentence on each charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, no more than 10 years for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and no more than 20 years for possession with intent to distribute heroin.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Louisville Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Louisville Metro Police Department.

The charges set forth in an Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

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Updated July 28, 2020