James Everett Smith, 51, of Booneville, Kentucky, admitted in federal court Monday, before U.S. District Judge Robert Wier, that he possessed with intent to distribute 500 grams of more of methamphetamine and possessed a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Smith admitted that on September 23, 2018, law enforcement officers responded to a report of shots fired near his residence. Officers approached Smith as he attempted to get in his van and found him in possession of 19 grams of methamphetamine and two pistols. Smith gave officers permission to search his residence, where they found approximately 685 grams of methamphetamine, two additional pistols, two shotguns, $1,170, and digital scales. In his plea agreement,
Smith acknowledged possessing the methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, and to possessing the firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
According to the plea agreement, Smith was prohibited from possessing firearms because of multiple prior felony convictions, including two 2006 Manufacturing Methamphetamine convictions from Owsley County.
Smith was indicted in June 2019.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Tommy Estevan, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Louisville Division of ATF; and Commissioner Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police; jointly announced the guilty plea.
The investigation was conducted by KSP and ATF. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman.
Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, 2020. He faces a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison, up to life in prison, and a maximum fine of $20 million. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.