Three men arrested in the wake of a surge of overdoses in Nicholasville have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to distribute heroin and carfentanyl in Garrard, Jessamine and Fayette counties.
Jeffrey James Ruggiero, Jerrod Doolin and Lamar “Juice” Chaves Thornton were indicted Thursday by the grand jury in U.S. District Court in Lexington.
The indictment says the three conspired to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of heroin and carfentanyl between July and January. Carfentanyl, also sometimes spelled as carfentanil, is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and is used commercially to sedate elephants and other large mammals.
Emergency crews responded to nine overdoses in 24 hours in Jessamine County on Jan. 9 and 10. One death, suspected of being a drug overdose, happened shortly before that period.
Thornton, 24, was arrested in late January in Detroit, according to a federal court docket. Thornton was suspected of being a supplier of heroin in Central Kentucky, according to an affidavit filed by a DEA agent.
All three defendants remain in federal custody, according to a court document. Thornton and Doolin are listed among the inmates at the Grayson County jail in Leitchfield, which holds federal inmates. It was unclear where Ruggiero was being held.
No arraignment date has been scheduled for the three men.