Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 15, 2012

Defendant in drug ring gets 131/2 years

ASHLAND — One of seven defendants in a federal case involving a Florida-to-Kentucky pill-trafficking pipeline was sentenced Tuesday to 131⁄2 years in prison.

The 162-month sentence handed to Rico Devaughn Tillman is the longest received by any of the defendants.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sentenced Tillman to 130 months on each of two counts of conspiracy to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute, with the terms to run concurrently, and 32 months for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, with that sentence to run consecutively with the others.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Tillman will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

Bunning also recommended Tillman participate in the Bureau of Prisons’ 500-hour substance abuse treatment program, and that he serve his sentence a the Federal Correctional Institution at Manchester. However, Tillman’s placement will be up to the BOP.

Tillman also will have to serve six years on supervised release following his term of incarceration.

Tillman pleaded guilty in August after Bunning rejected an attempt by his attorney, Steve Owens of Pikeville, to prevent certain evidence from being used against him at trial. Owens had sought to suppress evidence seized from Tillman by a Boyd County sheriff’s deputy following a traffic stop.

Owens argued the deputy, Jesse Delaney, didn’t have the right to search his client and the search violated Tillman’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron L. Walker Jr. countered the search was perfectly legal because Delaney had “reasonable and articulable suspicion” criminal activity was taking place and/or his safety was at risk when he conducted what is known as a “Terry frisk” of the defendant.

According to court records, Delaney stopped the vehicle Tillman was driving — a maroon Honda Accord owned by Charlie Nicole Angell of Ashland, another of the defendants in the case — on Feb. 27 because Tillman wasn’t wearing a seat belt. A pat-down search of Tillman turned up a bag of marijuana, OyxContin and Xanax, a set of brass knuckles and $2,870 in cash.

The sheriff’s department then obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. That search turned up a tan purse containing six plastic bags of cocaine, a .45-caliber handgun and $5,400 cash.

Angell also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and was sentenced last month to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

The purported ringleader of the organization, Richard Allen “Rick” Young, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years.

Defendants Darnell DeShawn Butler and Leonard E. Vaughn, both of Ashland, were sentenced to 108 months and 84 months, respectively, and Christina Y. Mayhone of Huntington was sentenced to 18 months.

The only defendant in the case who hasn’t pleaded guilty is Eldridge “Mookie” Primus, a Florida resident who authorities say supplied Young with pills. Court records do not indicate if Primus has been apprehended.

Young was a major supplier of pills to local drug dealers, including his co-defendants. According to records, he funneled roughly 45,000 oxycodone tablets from Florida to Kentucky between November 2008 and February of this year.

Young supplied thousands of pills to a Boyd County-based trafficking syndicate heded by Anthony “Tony” McKenzie until McKenzie was arrested. McKenzie and seven of his associates subsequently pleaded guilty to federal charges and were sentenced to prison terms.

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

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420singer2web.jpg Young Johnson singer strives for ‘tears of joy'

    Marlana VanHoose says she was humming “Jesus Loves Me” before she could even talk.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Second trial delay sought

    The lead attorney for Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley has requested his client’s trial date be pushed back again.

    April 20, 2014

  • Accelerating the positive

    One thing Sherry Jacobs knows about herself is she is not a quitter.

    April 20, 2014

  • Bike season in full swing

    A recent short cold spell didn’t keep kept cyclists from venturing outdoors to explore the new bike trails snaking through Greenup County.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's happening: 4/21/14

    Fan Fest, an open house at King’s Daughters Medical center’s Specialties Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Marshall Orthopaedics, will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at offices in Suite G30 of Medical Plaza B, 613 23rd St.

    April 20, 2014

  • Crime victims’ group to host conference

    Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, will have its annual memorial conference next week.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Boyd FFA to have test drive fundraiser

    The Boyd County FFA Chapter will have a test-drive fundraiser at Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Ashland from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the National FFA Organization in support of local FFA chapter leadership programs.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
     

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.
     

    April 19, 2014