Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 19, 2013

Decorated veteran gets 37 months in pain pill trafficking case

ASHLAND — A decorated Iraq War veteran from Fleming County was sentenced last week to 37 months in a federal prison for illegally trafficking in pain pills in Boyd County and elsewhere,

Robert W. Taylor, 31, of Wallingford, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession of the drug with intent to distribute. Two additional counts were dismissed under the terms of Taylor’s plea agreement.

Bunning also sentenced Taylor to three years of supervised release following his term of incarceration and ordered him to participate in the Bureau of Prisons’ 500-hour drug treatment program while he is in prison. The judge also recommended Taylor serve his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lexington.

Taylor and his brother, Jarrod D. Taylor, 29, were indicted in July by a federal grand jury. According to court records, the brothers, along with others, agreed to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone in Boyd County and elsewhere between Sept. 28 and Dec. 1, 2011.

On two separate occasions during that period, Robert Taylor sold pills provided to him by his brother to a confidential informant working for law enforcement, records state.

Robert Taylor acknowledged the total number of illegally trafficked pills attributable to his was approximately 200, his plea agreement states.

In a sentencing memorandum filed on his behalf, Taylor’s attorney, Michael Fox of Olive Hill, said his client’s addiction to OxyContin — which led to him selling drugs to finance his own habit — stemmed from childhood emotional, sexual and physical abuse.  

“Robert reports that his drug usage was an attempt to cope with ‘forget about bad memories from childhood,’” Fox wrote.

According to Fox, Taylor joined the Army in 2001 and was honorably discharged in 2007. He achieved the rank of E-4, was primarily involved in bridging and demolition and received various awards for his work as a combat engineer, including an Overseas Ribbon for his “distinguished efforts” during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fox wrote.

Following his discharge, Taylor’s drug use “continued and increased (due to him) having had military experiences which only exacerbated his undiagnosed emotional problems and mental illness,” Fox wrote.

Taylor was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, combat stress and depression in 2001 and had been undergoing treatment for those conditions prior to his arrest, Fox wrote.

Jarrod Taylor also pleaded guilty and was also scheduled to be sentenced last week, but his sentencing was pushed back to March 11.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

Text Only
Local News
  • Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.

    April 18, 2014

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs: 4/18/14

    Inspections and roadway patching on Ky. 773’s twin bridges in Carter County will require daytime closures Wednesday and Thursday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corps issues safety advice to boaters

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, reminds boaters the areas immediately upstream and downstream of navigation dams on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers have been designated as restricted areas. 

    April 17, 2014

  • Police beat: 4/18/14

    The following information was taken from Ashland Police Department reports:

    April 17, 2014

  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418eggs1web.jpg Learning about life one egg at a time

    Something is hatching — or is at least about to hatch — in classrooms in Lawrence County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Harmonica enthusiasts will get schooled

    From overblows and bends to vibrato and position playing, harmonica players will have an intense course study April 25 and 26 during HarmoniCollege 3.

    April 17, 2014

  • jeremymccombs.jpg Jeremy McComb enjoys Tri-State's limelight

    Jeremy McComb’s career has been a wild ride, especialy in the last week.
    The lead single from his latest album was released on iTunes last week and it was a huge success right from the start.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo