Six people have been named in a federal indictment alleging their involvement in a sex trafficking conspiracy in Whitley, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, Madison and Fayette counties over a four-year period.
Logan Ray Towery, 72, of London; Albert D. Davis, 62, of Gray; Mark Milslagle, 50, of Lexington; Berdenia Johnston, 38, of Lexington; James Martin, 73, of Gray; and David Pennington, 71, of London are each charged with one count of conspiring to knowingly and intentionally, in and affecting interstate commerce, recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, and maintain by any means, a person, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion would be used to cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act.
According to the indictment, the alleged conspiracy occurred between September 2015 and Oct. 8, 2019.
The case began in late October when an indictment alleging a conspiracy distribute oxycodone and Oyxmorphone pills involving Towery, Davis and Gary L. Cupp, 54, of Williamsburg, was returned.
In addition, Towery was indicted for conspiring with others to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, and maintain by any means, a person, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion would be used to cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act.
According to the complaint submitted to the court by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Todd Tremaine, the investigation began On Sept. 28, 2015 when law enforcement was called to a hotel room in Rockcastle County following a request for assistance for medical assistance for a female in the room. The female was subsequently pronounced dead.
The caller, who was identified as Crystal Lunsford, stated that she had been with the female victim the day before.
Lunsford told Tremaine that the victim, who was identified in the complaint as, “victim,” had told her that she had acquired Oxycodone tablets from a person she knew as, “Ray.”
Lunsford also learned that the vehicle she and the victim had been operating recently belonged to “Ray,” Tremaine stated. “Law enforcement determined that this vehicle belonged to Logan Ray Towery.”
Lunsford told law enforcement that the victim had gone into medical distress after snorting one of the pills she had obtained from Towery, the complaint stated
Kentucky State Police executed a search warrant on Towery’s Rockcastle County residence, recovering 281 Oxycodone 30 mg pills, 241 Xanax, and more than $13,000 in cash along with assorted firearms.
“Officers later located an additional $10,000 in a safe deposit box belonging to Towery,” Tremaine stated.
Based on the search, state police took Towert in to custody and conducted a post-Miranda interview with him.
Towery admitted to driving to Lexington multiple times over the past 18 months and obtaining Oxycodone pills from a supplier out of Detroit, Michigan.
In the fall of 2018, Tremaine stated that Towery, who had moved to Laurel County, was using Facebook to arrange for young women from the area to engage in prostitution with clients he arranged.
Tremaine spoke with a confidential source who told him that Towery would pay women with drugs to prostitute for him.
“(The source) stated that Towery would arrange for the female to meet men at local hotels and provide transportation,” Tremaine stated adding that the source showed him a Facebook message from Towery asking the source if she wanted some work.
In the summer of 2019, state police secured a search warrant for Towery’s Facebook page, concentrating on his Facebook Messenger application.
“Det. Graves and Det. Armstrong located numerous messages between Towery and local females that indicated that Towery had arranged for the females to engage in prostitution with Towery’s clients,” Tremaine stated. “In one such message Towery tells Female 1 that he gave her too much in a drug trade and he got a new scale.”
“In another string of messages, Female 3 pleads with Towery that she is homeless and wants to be put to work for a few days to obtain a place to live,” Tremaine added.
“In yet another message, Female 4 thanks Towery for the date and she was almost out of food and stuff and ‘I’ll do anything you want me to do.’” Tremaine added noting Towery replied by asking for nude photographs of her prior to arranging dates with his clients, and asked what sexual activities she was willing to perform.
On Oct. 8, state police secured search warrants for Towery’s residence in London, during which they recovered 11 firearms and more than 125 Oxycodone pills, along with $43,260 in cash.
They later stopped Towery’s vehicle in Lily. During a search of the vehicle they recovered a loaded handgun.
KSP detectives conducted another interview with Towery at his residence, during which he admitted to trafficking prescription pills.
“Towery further admitted to providing money and/or drugs to females in exchange for sexual favors,” Tremaine stated.
Detectives located pills and cash inside a safe in Towery’s residence.
“Towery explained that he had continued his relationship with his Detroit-based supplier into 2019, and had been acquiring 300-500 Oxycodone pills per week for the past year,” Tremaine stated.
Tremaine arrived at the scene soon after to further question Towery further about his operation.
“Towery stated he bought a house in Corbin and ran a prostitution ring out of his residence,” Tremaine stated, noting this was prior to 2015 when he moved to Mt. Vernon.
“Towery said back then he ran a ‘real prostitution ring’ and confirmed that he put girls on www.backpage.com,” Tremaine stated.
Towery added that he provided some of the girls that worked for him drugs, adding that he was certain some of were addicted.
A second complaint naming Towery and several co-defendants was filed Oct. 21 by ATF Task Force Officer Raleigh Benge.
In the complaint, during the Oct. 8 interview with state police, Towery admitted that he was distributing Oxycodone and Oxymorphone pills to Davis in Knox County.
“Towery advised he supplied Davis with 200 to 300 pills at a time in the beginning, and the number of pills increased to as many as 500 pills per transaction in recent months,” Benge stated, adding that the duo would meet at a garage behind Davis’ mother’s residence on Liberty Church Road in Gray.
“Towery advised the garage is the location where Davis, and Davis’ associates would distribute pills to different individuals,” Benge stated.
Towery showed Benge text messages on his phone that cooberated his statements.
Benge said a confidential witness working with another area law enforcement agency also cooberated what Towery said.
Upon further investigation, agents learned of another residence Davis used in his drug operation off of Keck Church Road in Gray.
On Oct 11, law enforcement issued a search warrant at Davis’ residence, and located approximately 60 pills
During the interview with Tremaine on Oct. 10, Towery was shown a folder taken from his computer containing more than 1,400 images and videos of women.
“Towery confirmed multiple women ‘worked’ for him and were addicted to numerous controlled substances which Towery and others provided them,” Benge stated. “Towery also stated that Davis kept women in much the same manner,” noting that Davis would provide the Oxycodone and/or Oxymorphone soon after meeting the women, but once they were addicted he would begin to collect the debit through sexual acts.
Tremaine filed a third complaint in the case on Nov. 1 seeking an indictment against Martin for conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone in Laure and Knox counties.
According to the complaint, a confidential informant purchased one Oxycodone 30 mg pill from Martin at his residence in Knox County on Oct. 3 under the supervision of Knox County Sheriff’s deputies.
Deputies had used another confidential informant to make controlled purchases of Oxycodone pills from Martin on five occasions in 2018.
Tremaine spoke with an individual identified as “Victim 1” who admitted to delivering pills from Towery to Martin on multiple occasions.
On Oct. 25, Tremaine conducted a post-Miranda interview with Martin, who admitted that Towery had supplied him with pills in the past, but had not done so in approximately two years after they had a falling out.
According to Tremaine, Martin admitted to purchasing pills from individuals who had visited pain clinics, and that he had personally visited a clinic in Lexington to obtain pills.
Martin identified three individuals to which he had provided prescription pills.
On Nov. 4, Tremaine filed a complaint seeking an indictment against Mark Milslagle on charges of conspiring to distribute Oxycodone in Laurel and Whitley counties, and conspiracy to coerce or cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act in Laurel and Whitley counties.
According to the complaint, the investigation against Milslagle was based on the Oct. 29 interview with Towery where he identified Milslagle as his biggest prostitution customer.
“Towery stated that Milslagle started buying women from Towery on the website backpage.com before the website was shut down,” Tremaine stated.
“Tower stated that since backpage.com shut down, Towery and Milslagle have been dealing directly with one another for years,” he added noting that Milslagle paid $100 per girl and spent between $4,000 and $5,000 per week on girls.
Tremaine stated that Milslagle would meet with the girls at hotels in Corbin and London while he was in the area on business.
Tremaine reviewed multiple text messages on Towery’s phone between Towery and Milslagle detailing how they arranged the encounters.
Tremaine stated he conducted a separate interview with one of the prostitutes who detailed how Towery initially provided her free pills containing Oxymorphone, but later demanded sexual favors as payment, and later set her up with Milslagle.
Tremaine detailed in the complaint similar interviews with five other females detailing encounters with Milslagle or Martin.
On Nov. 21, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment in the case.
Towery, Davis, Milslagle, Johnston, Martin and Pennington are named in the sex trafficking conspiracy count.
While Towery, Davis Milslagle, Johnston, Martin, Cupp, and Robert R Taylor, 53, of Corbin are named in the drug trafficking conspiracy count.
In addition, Towery and Davis are each charged with one count of possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
Finally, Davis is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
On Dec. 19, a second superseding indictment was handed down seeking an order of forfeiture of firearms, cash and real property owned by Towery, Davis and Cupp.
The case is set for trial on Feb. 18.