The man who headed a major drug conspiracy in south-central Kentucky has been sentenced to 23 years and four months in federal prison.
Roderick "Big Daddy" Curry of Columbia led a drug ring that sold crack cocaine and prescription pills with an estimated street value of $10 million from July 2007 to May 2009, according to court documents and a news release from U.S. Attorney David J. Hale in Louisville.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell sentenced Curry on Tuesday in federal court in Bowling Green.
Curry, 45; his brother Mark Vincent Curry, 36; and other family members were among 30 people from Adair, Russell, Barren, Taylor and other counties charged with taking part in the trafficking conspiracy.
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All 30 have pleaded guilty, Hale said in a news release.
Mark Curry, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, was in charge of the drug sales when his brother was gone, according to documents filed in the case.
Roderick Curry's operation was based in an area of Columbia called "the Pike," which had been known as a center for drug-dealing since the 1980s, according to a sworn statement from Thomas A. Devine, an FBI agent who helped in the investigation.
Drug activity based there had a violent side, including assaults on competing drug dealers, and assaults and murders of witnesses, Devine said in his statement.
One drug dealer who was an informant for police was shot four times in a drive-by attack in August 2005 but lived, Devine said.
Curry had a role in ordering and paying for shootings, and his brother was convicted of facilitation to commit murder, according to Devine's statement and other court documents.
Curry had sold crack from a metal garage at his house since 1997 and had several prior drug charges before the investigation that resulted in federal charges, Devine said.
The drug ring sold cocaine and pills to people from several counties and used code words, telling customers to ask for a whole potato, for instance, if they wanted a whole ounce of cocaine, Devine said.
Curry and the others involved sold at least 660 pounds of cocaine, according to a news release.
State police and the FBI used informants to buy drugs from members of the conspiracy and got permission to tap phones used by Curry, recording hundreds of calls.
The Curry brothers and Briceson Walkup, who supplied cocaine to Roderick Curry, received the longest sentences in the case. Walkup was sentenced to 15 years in prison.