Ohio man sentenced in Pulaski-area heroin ring

Stephen Ushery Jr.

A Cincinnati man connected to a Pulaski-area drug ring has been sentenced to 130 months (10 years, 10 months) in federal prison.

Stephen Ushery Jr. had pleaded guilty in April to Conspiracy to Distribute One Kilogram or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing Heroin.

After sentencing on Thursday, Ushery was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

Upon completion of the prison sentence, Ushery must serve five years of supervised release.

As a press release from U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. points out, under federal law Ushery must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence before the possibility of being released.

"Combatting the trafficking of dangerous drugs, particularly heroin, is a fundamental priority for our Office," said Duncan. "The defendant's transportation and distribution of significant quantities of heroin adversely impacted the lives of many in the Pulaski County area. I commend the work of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in helping hold this defendant, and his co-defendants, accountable for their actions."

The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, the Somerset Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, the Lake Cumberland Drug Task Force, and the Mount Vernon Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew H. Trimble.

According to Ushery's plea agreement, he and others distributed more than one kilogram of heroin within Pulaski County between August 2015 and September 2018.

The plea agreement states that Ushery was arrested during a traffic stop in which Ushery was a passenger led to the discovery of $5,584 in cash, including $430 in money recorded from transactions where a confidential informant purchased heroin.

According to Duncan's statement, the conviction was the result of a two and a half year investigation. Ushery would supply heroin by traveling to and from his home in Cincinnati.

Duncan said that a raid of Ushery's Somerest apartment resulted in finding nearly 50 grams of heroin.

Several of Ushery's coconspirators already have been sentenced, including Somerset residents Diana Chiree Sullivan, Sonie Meatchem Jr., Samantha Jade Poynter, and James Tyler Hargis.

Ohio resident Kimberly Ann Sweeten also was convicted.

Duncan's statement said that Pulaski resident Chad Puchalski was also convicted in connection with this case.

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