LONDON, Ky. — A Williamsburg, Kentucky man, Nathan Blankenship, 35, was sentenced to 50 months in federal prison on Friday, by US District Judge Robert E. Wier, for aggravated methamphetamine trafficking.
Blankenship was part of a 16-defendant meth trafficking organization that spread across Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. The investigation revealed that the plot had been provided by a Chattanooga, Tennessee man, 36-year-old Chad Burnette. Burnette, who was incarcerated in the Georgia Department of Corrections, used social media platforms, smuggled cell phones and used Green Dot cards to get around. 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, in the Eastern District of Kentucky, from December 2018 to January 2020. Burnette used cartel ties to fulfill his meth orders.
Burnette employed middleman Michael Revis, 32, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to arrange methamphetamine deliveries to Atlanta for Kentucky-based traffickers. Revis charged his fellow co-conspirators a 10% commission to arrange the deals with Burnette. On August 11, 2021, Revis was convicted of aggravated methamphetamine trafficking and witness tampering, following a federal jury trial in London. The ATF seized more than a dozen firearms as part of the investigation, including assault rifles, homemade explosives and body armor.
The other defendants received the following sentences for their role in the drug trafficking operation:
- Michael Revis, 32, of Chattanooga, 324 months and 5 years on probation
- Chad Lee Burnette, 36, of Chattanooga, 276 months and 5 years on probation
- Charles Coleman Burnette, 58, of Hamilton County, Tennessee, 89 months and 4 years on probation
- Diana Faye Elliott, 34, of Hixson, Tennessee, 98 months and 3 years on supervised release
- Michael Brock, 61, of Frakes, Ky., 65 months and 4 years on supervised release
- Goldie Webb, 65, from Frakes, 35 months and 3 years on supervised release
- Phillip Ohara (deceased), of Williamsburg, Ky., 100 months, 5 years on probation
- David Lee Butler, 42, of Williamsburg, 105 months and 5 years on probation
- Dakota Sean Wade Lovins, 26, of Williamsburg, 69 months and 5 years on supervised release
- Danny Elliott, 44, of Williamsburg, 88 months and 5 years on probation
- Ashley Lynn Lay, 38, of Williamsburg, 91 months and 5 years on supervised release
- Jerry White, 44, of Williamsburg, 60 months and 4 years on supervised release
- Herbert Hood, 46, of Williamsburg, 23 months and 2 years on probation
- Ronnie Albertini, 41, from Duff, Tennessee, 78 months, 5 years on supervised release
- Ricky Ayers, 36, of Lafollette, Tennessee, 65 months and 5 years on probation
- Tammy Elliott, 42, of Jellico, Tennessee, 100 months and 5 years on probation
Under federal law, each of the defendants must serve 85% of their prison sentence.
“There are few greater threats to our community than drug trafficking, which is often accompanied by guns, violence, overdoses and other criminal activity,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “We, along with our law enforcement partners, remain committed to using all the tools at our disposal to combat this danger to our community, including an increased focus on detection, prosecution and punishment. armed and violent drug traffickers, whose crimes take a heavy toll on the safety and security of all of us.
“Drug trafficking organizations often use firearms to further their criminal activities, increasing the threat to our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Division. “Protecting the public is at the heart of ATF’s mission. The Louisville Division of the ATF will continue to work with our partners, like the DEA and the Williamsburg Police, to target armed drug dealers and remove them from our communities. This investigation is an example of our commitment to protecting the public and making Kentucky safer. »
“Drug trafficking organizations that threaten the health and safety of our communities through violence and illicit drugs will be brought to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Louisville Field Division. “The DEA, together with our law enforcement partners, remains committed to this mission, at a time when Americans are dying of drug overdoses in record numbers.”
US attorney Shier; SAC Morrow, ATF, Louisville Field Division; SAC Scott, DEA. Louisville Field Division; and Williamsburg Police Department Chief Wayne Bird jointly announced the sentences.
The investigation was conducted by the ATF, DEA and the Williamsburg Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Jenna E. Reed and Jason Parman.
This case was prosecuted under the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, which is a national crime reduction strategy aimed at reducing violent crime in communities. The PSN program involves a comprehensive approach to public safety – one that includes criminal investigation and prosecution, as well as prevention and rehabilitation efforts. In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.