Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 20, 2014

Pill ring defendants to plead guilty

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — All three defendants charged with running a major pill-trafficking operation based in Carter County will now be pleading guilty.

Scott Gilliam’s attorney, Michael Fox of Olive Hill, on Friday filed a motion in U.S. District Court requesting rearraignment for his client so he can change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

Michael Curtis, the attorney for defendant Brandon Logan, followed suit on Monday.

The third defendant, Michael Scott Logan of Olive Hill, requested re-arraignment on Thursday through his lawyer, Michael Campbell of Morehead. Michael Logan is Brandon Logan’s nephew.

Logan’s plea hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday before Judge David L. Bunning. Dates for Gilliam’s and Brandon Logan’s proceedings hadn’t been set as of Monday, but it’s likely they could take place on Wednesday as well.

The three had been scheduled to stand trial Feb. 10.

All three were named in an indictment returned Nov. 7 by a federal grand jury sitting in Covington. The three-count indictment alleges that between June 2010 and June 14 of last year, the defendants “did conspire together and with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and possess with intent to distribute pills containing oxycodone.”

The indictment also accuses the Logans and Gilliam with separate offenses of knowingly and intentionally possessing oxycodone pills with intent to distribute them.

Gilliam, 42, is the former pastor of Perry’s Branch Holiness Tabernacle, which neighbors say closed down about a year ago. Authorities said the church building was used as a “stash house” and that a large cache of pills was found hidden in the walls of the church building during the course of the investigation that led to the the indictment.

All three defendants face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million if they are convicted, assuming they have no previous federal drug-trafficking offenses.

The indictment was the result of a more than 18-month undercover investigation involving the FADE Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More than $1 million in cash and other assets were seized during the course of the investigation.

According to FADE, the drug-trafficking organization headed by the three defendants spanned the entire country,

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