The last two defendants in an interstate oxycodone trafficking ring bringing thousands of pills into Clark County recently began serving their federal sentences.
Freddy Campbell II¿of Lexington and Steven “Bear” Washington of Florida were the last of 15 defendants in an 18-month investigation that originated in Clark County conducted by the Kentucky State Police’s Drug Task Force. The investigation, dubbed Operation Bear Hunt, started with mid-level pill dealers and continued until they charged Washington, one of the main suppliers from Florida, KSP¿Sgt. Mark Burden said.
“Steven, in our opinion, was near the top of the food chain,”¿Burden said, though was never in Kentucky and detectives never made a buy from Washington. Through the investigation, detectives were able to connect Washington to other dealers, he said, and indict him in federal court for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
All 15 defendants were sentenced in federal court and are serving anywhere from four months to 10 years in prison. Under federal law, they must serve 85 percent of their sentence.
The investigation began in Clark County when Deputy Mark Craycraft of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and KSP¿Detective Dennis Mabry, both assigned to the task force, started an investigation into oxycodone trafficking and those beyond a street-level dealers.
“It started with drug trafficking in Clark County and we realized it began going out of Clark County... and into other states,”¿Burden said. “We were able to got from a mid-level dealer to a top source in Florida.”
“We took out their middle man and that’s how we got to Bear,” Mabry said.
Police determined that Washington supplied to two families of Campbells and Martins, who then distributed the pills further into Kentucky. At one point, each family was moving 1,000 pills a week, Mabry said. Michael Marshall Jr. served as a go-between and handled the money, he said.
Those who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone were:
— Vonshell Lindsey, 37 months.
— Brandon Martin, 16 months.
— Leslie Martin, 23 months.
— Sheila McCarty, four months.
— Michael A. Marshall Jr., 37 months.
— John Maupin, 10 months.
— Tammy Martin, four months.
— Joshua Martin, 21 months.
— Theresa Neace, 48 months.
— James Martin Jr., 60 months.
— Khevis Campbell, 28 months.
— Freddie Campbell III, 30 months.
— Rachel Holder Smith, 20 months.
Steven Washington and Freddy Campbell II were both convicted following a trial in U.S. District Court in Lexington. They were sentenced to 80 months and 10 years, respectively. Freddy Campbell II was also sentenced to 120 months for attempt to possess oxycodone. That sentence will run concurrently with his other sentence.
Some of the detectives are now assigned to a federal drug task force which allows them to present cases directly to federal prosecutors.
Since 2010, the task force made 49 arrests and opened 150 cases in Clark County. The task force has also confiscated more than $71,000 in cash, nine firearms, nearly 3,100 dose units of narcotics, 3,486 grams of marijuana, 74 marijuana plants and 6,694 packets of synthetic marijuana.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com.