A federal grand jury has indicted two men on charges of conspiring to distribute heroin and the painkiller fentanyl in Montgomery County, which led to a series of overdoses there in late August.
Robert Lee Shields and Wesley Scott Hamm are named in the indictment returned Wednesday in Lexington. Federal documents did not list the age or address for Shields or Hamm, nor the place where they were held in federal custody.
Both are accused of supplying fentanyl to people in Mount Sterling, where a dozen overdoses were reported on Aug. 24 and 25. Most of the victims were resuscitated, but a 37-year-old man died.
Fentanyl is 40 to 50 times stronger than street-level heroin.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Shields, nicknamed “Sosa,” was arrested in August in Cincinnati. Hamm led federal investigators to Shields, according to an affidavit by an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Hamm told investigators that he bought fentanyl from a man known as “Sosa” in Cincinnati on Aug. 24, then took the drug back to Mount Sterling.
Court documents show that federal authorities had also filed a criminal complaint against a third defendant, Tracey Myers, who had told investigators that she obtained heroin from Hamm and then distributed it to others. But the criminal complaint against Myers was dismissed after she died Sept. 3, according to court records. The records do not indicate the cause of her death.
The penalty for conspiring to distribute fentanyl is up to 20 years in prison, up to a $1 million fine, and no less than three years of supervised release.
If a defendant has a prior drug felony, the penalty is up to 30 years in prison, up to a $2 million fine, and no less than six years supervised release.