Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 19, 2013

3 Carter men plead not guilty in pill-trafficking case

Kenneth Hart
CNHI News Service

ASHLAND — Three Carter County men, one a former church pastor, accused of heading up what authorities believe was one of the largest illicit pill-trafficking operations in Kentucky were arraigned in federal court on Monday.

Scott Gilliam, 42, Brandon Logan, 28, and Michael Scott Logan, whose age was not immediately available, all of Olive Hill, all entered not-guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.

The three were all named in an indictment returned Nov. 7 by a U.S. District Court grand jury sitting in Ashland. Gilliam and Brandon Logan were arrested Friday by the FADE Drug Task Force. Michael Logan turned himself in at the federal courthouse and was booked following his arraignment.

Court records do not say how Michael and Brandon Logan are related, but one source said Michael Logan is Brandon Logan’s uncle.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins scheduled a pre-trial conference in the case for Dec. 9 before District Judge David L. Bunning and trial for Jan. 22. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wade Napier said he anticipated the case would take three days to try.

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.

Atkins released the three on their own recognizance after Napier said the government wasn’t seeking detention in the case.

All three were represented at the arraignment by attorney Michael Campbell of Morehead. However, Campbell said he will only be representing Brandon Logan in the case and was standing in for Michael Curtis and Michael Fox, who will be representing Michael Logan and Gilliam, respectively.

The three-count indictment against Gilliam and the Logans 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.

A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation of a crime and does not establish guilt.

The indictment was the result of a more than 18-month undercover investigation involving FADE, 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.

Gilliam is the former pastor of the Perry’s Branch Holiness Tabernacle, which neighbors say closed down about a year ago. Authorities said a large cache of pills was found in the church building.

FADE also said the drug-trafficking organization headed by the three defendants spanned the entire country, and that additional arrests are anticipated.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2654.