Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 30, 2012

Accused man arraigned in pill case

Attorney to file a motion requesting a later trial date

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — A Las Vegas man accused of illegally funneling tens of thousands of prescription pain pills into the region from that city made his first appearance in a Kentucky courtroom on Monday.

Jarral D. Perkins was arraigned in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to money-laundering. Through his attorney, Ross Goodman, of Las Vegas, he pleaded not guilty to both.

Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins scheduled Perkins’ trial for Oct. 9. However, Goodman said that conflicted with another trial he has in Las Vegas and asked if it could be set for November instead.

Atkins directed Goodman to file a motion formally requesting a later trial date. The judge also noted  a November date would fall outside the 90-day speedy-trial window, and that Goodman would need to file a waiver of that.

Atkins also noted Perkins’ pre-trial release conditions had already been established by the federal court in Las Vegas. However, he said he intended to add random drug testing to those conditions.

Perkins, whose age isn’t listed in court records, is charged with heading up an operation in which he shipped oxycodone to Carter County to be distributed, and that his contact there would sell the pills and send the money back to him. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent C. Frank Hicks, Perkins’ local contact was an Olive Hill man named Michael Logan. The two met at a pain clinic after Logan went to Las Vegas in search of oxycodone, the document states.

Logan told detectives with the FIVCO Area Drug Enforcement (FADE) Force that he had distributed tens of thousands of pills that had been sent to him by Perkins, whom he said he knew only as “Jim.” The pills would arrive in  a package containing a gift basket containing a large, outdoor-type candle in a metal bucket. Inside the bucket, and inside the previously melted candle, a glass jar would be secreted in the center that contained the tablets, the affidavit states. Logan also explained he would use the same technique to ship money back to Perkins.

Logan said he initially received packages of oxycodone from Perkins on weekly basis, and initial shipments contained 100 to 200 pills. However, he said the quantities quickly ramped up, eventually  reaching 1,000 pills a week.

According to Logan, Perkins would use different shipping services to send the pills, including the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and DHL. The packages were sent to different locations and addressed to fictitious names.

Utilizing a tracking number provided by Logan, authorities were able to intercept a package that had been sent to him by Perkins. The package was opened at the Morehead Post Office and was found to contain oxycodone.

Perkins was arrested June 20 in Las Vegas after DEA agents there made a controlled delivery of a package sent via UPS to an address Perkins had sent via text message to Logan’s cell phone.

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