Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 1, 2014

4:56 AFTERNOON UPDATE: Court news happening out of Bowling Green

Staff report
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — RUSSELL SPRINGS, KENTUCKY BUSINESS AGREES TO PAY $750,000 IN RESTITUTION FOR ROLE IN CONTRABAND CIGARETTE TRAFFICKING

Tantus Tobacco, LLC. Pleads guilty to a superseding information

 

 BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Russell Springs, Kentucky company pleaded guilty today, before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., to a single charge of conspiracy to engage in contraband cigarette trafficking; and the company has agreed to pay $750,000 in restitution and forfeitures; announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Tantus Tobacco, LLC pleaded guilty to a Superseding Information and will pay restitution in the amount of $200,000 to the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet in lost taxes and $60,000 to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office for its assistance in the investigation. Tantus Tobacco, LLC will forfeit $490,000 to the United States.

Tantus Tobacco, a cigarette manufacturing facility located in Russell Springs, Kentucky, acting by and through its officers and employees, aided and abetted by Jerry Burke and Charles Wells, pleaded guilty to making false material statements in reports required to be made to governmental tobacco regulatory divisions of the United States and the State of Mississippi between October 2007 through July 2008.

According to the plea agreement, from at least January 2008 to May 2008, Tantus Tobacco manufactured Berley and Berkley brand cigarettes, which they sold to Charles Wells, a cigarette wholesale distributor in Kentucky.  Escrow payments are due on the Berley cigarettes, but not the Berkley.  Wells would obtain the cigarettes directly from the Tantus Tobacco facility located in Russell Springs, Kentucky.  However, Tantus Tobacco aided and abetted the creation of false documentation indicating that the cigarettes had been sold to J&B Wholesale (owned and operated by Jerry Burke) in Mississippi, which false documents were submitted to the State of Mississippi.  These false documents allowed Tantus Tobacco to avoid making manufacturer Non-Participating Manufacturer escrow payments on the subject cigarettes and to sell the cigarettes to Wells at a discount.  J&B Wholesale, in turn, submitted false and fraudulent Mississippi Tobacco Excise Returns reporting that the cigarettes were received and sold in Mississippi to the State Tax Commission in Mississippi in violation of tobacco sales reporting requirements.  These false Mississippi Tobacco Excise Returns were submitted, in whole or in part, due to the cigarette diversion scheme described above in which Tantus Tobacco was an active participant.                   

A wholesaler selling cigarettes in Mississippi must file a monthly Tobacco Excise Return with the State Tax Commission showing the number of unstamped cigarettes received that month, plus the cigarettes stamped and available for sale that month, plus the cigarettes sold to licensed wholesalers and exempt persons that month, as well the cigarettes shipped or sold out of state, and the net taxable cigarettes and other pertinent information.   

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ream and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Mississippi Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).



FORMER TAYLOR COUNTY, KENTUCKY DEPUTY SHERIFF GUILTY OF DISTRIBUTION OF ANABOLIC STEROIDS

Wore Taylor County Sheriff’s Department uniform and drove law enforcement vehicle

during distribution

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A former Taylor County, Kentucky deputy sheriff pleaded guilty today, before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., to charges of distributing anabolic steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

William Allen Rice, age 38, of Campbellsville, pleaded guilty to all charges in a three-count federal indictment. According to the plea agreement, Rice sold Schedule III controlled substances on three separate occasions, between May 17, 2013 and August 10, 2013.  On May 17, 2013, the defendant sold a bottle of Boldenone Undecylenate, a Schedule III non-narcotic, to another individual for $150.

On August 8, 2013, the defendant sold a bottle of Nandrolone Decanoate, a Schedule III non-narcotic, to another individual for $150. On August 22, 2013, the defendant sold ten bottles of Testosterone Enanthate from Lightning Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an anabolic steroid and a Schedule III non-narcotic, to another individual for $950.

Rice was observed driving his assigned Taylor County Sheriff’s Office vehicle to prearranged meeting locations and wore his Taylor County Sheriff’s Office uniform and a pistol on his hip during one transaction with a confidential human source.

Rice was charged in a criminal complaint on October 1, 2013 and subsequently charged by federal grand jury indictment on October 16, 2013.  The charges exposed Rice to a combined maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a combined maximum fine of $1,500,000, and a 2-year term of supervised release.   

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda E. Gregory and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Kentucky State Police.



ALLEN COUNTY, KENTUCKY, RESIDENT GUILTY OF STEALING HYDROCODONE PILLS FROM HER EMPLOYER – A SCOTTSVILLE, KENTUCKY, PHARMACY

 

Former pharmacy employee further admits to conspiring with others to sell and distribute the stolen hydrocodone pills worth $29,808

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A former employee of Stovall’s Prescription Shop, located in Scottsville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court, to conspiracy to distribute the pain killer, hydrocodone, that was stolen from her employer, and conspiring to sell over $5,000 of stolen hydrocodone that had not been made available to consumers for retail purchase, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Lynn Harper Denton, age 46, of Allen County, Kentucky pleaded guilty before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr.,  to two charges in a seven count indictment. According to the plea agreement, between May 2012, and continuing to October 16, 2012, in Allen County, Kentucky, Denton, a former employee of Stovall’s Prescription Shop, conspired with  Jeffrey Clay Stinson and Katherine Virginia Rookstool, to knowingly possess and distribute hydrocodone. Denton admitted to stealing over 10,000 hydrocodone pills from Stovall’s Prescription Shop and selling them to Rookstool, who then sold the pills to Stinson. Stinson sold the pills to others. Stinson pleaded guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing. Rookstool has an April 21, 2014 trial date.

Further, Denton admitted that while employed at Stovall’s Prescription Shop, between May 2012, and continuing through October 16, 2012, that she and Rookstool conspired to sell and distribute over $5,000 of stolen hydrocodone that had not been made available to consumers for retail purchase. This is a violation of 18 USC § 670 (theft of medical products) and is the first such prosecution in the Western District of Kentucky. The retail value of the stolen hydrocodone was $29,808.

The charges against Denton expose her to a maximum sentence of no more than 30 years in prison, a $750,000 fine, and a period of five years of supervised release.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, Owensboro domicile, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, and the Scottsville, Kentucky Police Department.



 

BOWLING GREEN MAN GUILTY OF GROWING MARIJUANA IN MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK AND WARREN COUNTY

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - A Bowling Green, Kentucky man pleaded guilty today, in United States District Court to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana inside Mammoth Cave National Park and inside a residence located in Warren County, Kentucky announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Robert Williams, age 28, pleaded guilty to a four-count federal indictment admitting that between May 4, 2011, and continuing to on or about October 8, 2011, he and co-defendant Ryan Pitcock, of Bowling Green, knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed together and with each other to manufacture less than 50 Kilograms of marijuana, a schedule I controlled substance inside Mammoth Cave National Park.   Williams also admitted to manufacturing marijuana and mushrooms containing psilocin and psilocybin within their residence in Warren County.

According to the plea agreement, search warrants obtained by Kentucky State Police for Williams’ and Pitcock’s apartment in Warren County revealed an extensive marijuana growing operation, processed marijuana for distribution, mushrooms containing psilocin and psilocybin being grown and packaged for distribution, and several stun guns.

Pitcock pleaded guilty to the charges on August 21, 2012 and was sentenced by Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. to 12 months and one day in prison followed by a two year period of supervised release.

If convicted at trial, Williams faces a combined maximum term of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,5000,000 and a two year period of supervised release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd, and it was investigated by the National Park Service Rangers and the Kentucky State Police.