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Police execute federal warrants

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ELK CREEK – The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by Operation UNITE and the DEA, executed two federal arrest warrants at a residence on Elk Creek in Magoffin County last Friday.

On June 28, police apprehended Minnie Johnson, 60, and Jennifer Fletcher, 44, both of Salyersville, at a home on Elk Creek as part of an over-a-year-long federal investigation regarding illegal drug sales in Magoffin County.

Both defendants were taken into custody, and they are being held at the Pike County Detention Center, as of press time.

According to the federal indictment, filed on June 28, the two are charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, and distribution of controlled substance.

The indictment alleges that between August 2021 through March 7, 2024, in Magoffin County, Johnson and Fletcher conspired together with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute controlled substances, to include 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. Count 2 of the indictment refers to an alleged incident from April 2, 2023, in which the two are accused of knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute controlled substances, including 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine, and 40 grams or more of a substance containing fentanyl.

Counts 3 and 4 charge Minnie Johnson with knowingly and intentionally distributing controlled substances, including heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine, on two separate days in February 2024. Count 5 charges Jennifer Fletcher with intentionally distributing a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine on March 3, 2024.

The federal indictment remains redacted, with presumably other defendant names blacked out as of press time.

Johnson and Fletcher also had forfeiture allegations against them, requiring them to forfeit to the United States any and all property used or intended to be used to commit any of the alleged violations. The two were ordered to forfeit $6,071 in United States currency, five different firearms and an associated ammunition and accessories.

The two are facing not more than 20 years imprisonment, not more than $1 million fine, and at least three years supervised release. If prior felony drug offense, that jumps to not more than 30 years imprisonment, not more than $2 million fine, and at least six years supervised release. If found responsible for 40 grams or more of a substance containing fentanyl or 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, that changes to not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years of imprisonment, not more than a $5 million fin, and at least 4 years supervised release. If found responsible for 500 gram or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, they face not less than 10 years imprisonment, nor more than life imprisonment, not more than a $10 million fine, and at least 5 years supervised release.

They also be required to pay a $100 special assessment fee per count.

Magoffin County Sheriff Bill Meade told the Independent the matter is still ongoing, with the possibility of additional arrests.

“This is a continuation of our pledge to aggressively combat the drug problems here in the county,” Sheriff Meade said. “We encourage anyone with information involving illegal drug sales in Magoffin County to contact the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office. We’re not interested in who they are, we just want the information.”

Johnson and Fletcher were arraigned on July 1, with both pleading not guilty to all charges. A jury trial is tentatively slated for September 3, 2024, at 9 a.m., at the federal courthouse in Pikeville.

Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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