Crime

Drugs, violence flow from Detroit to Central Kentucky. Man’s sentence is latest in crackdown.

The Federal Courthouse at the intersection of Limestone and Barr Street in  Lexington, Ky., pictured on 5/23/05. David Stephenson/Staff
The Federal Courthouse at the intersection of Limestone and Barr Street in Lexington, Ky., pictured on 5/23/05. David Stephenson/Staff

A Detroit man sentenced for importing fentanyl and heroin to Central Kentucky is the latest figure to pay with prison time in a crackdown on the flow of drugs and violence from the major northern city.

Vincent Edge, 37, was sentenced Monday to 87 months (7 years, 3 months) in federal prison for conspiring to distribute powerful drugs, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Edge admitted he came to the Richmond and Morehead areas to sell fentanyl, heroin and oxycodone, according to court records. He was accused of recruiting other drug dealers from Detroit to live at his Richmond apartment to sell drugs, court documents show. Richmond is home to Eastern Kentucky University and Morehead is home to Morehead State University.

Edge supplied drugs to local sellers and took profits back to Detroit, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.

After being arrested in Ohio, Edge pleaded guilty in April. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence.

“This is another example of drug traffickers from larger cities coming to Central Kentucky to profit from selling the illegal drugs that are devastating our community,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Edge is among numerous people from Detroit accused or convicted of criminal activity in Central Kentucky. An organized, multiagency effort to get violent criminals and drug traffickers off Lexington and Central Kentucky streets and into federal prisons — where sentences are longer — was revived earlier this year.

In March, Stanford Ray Coleman was sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Coleman would travel to the Mount Sterling area from Detroit and Atlanta at regular intervals, according to court records. He brought thousands of oxycodone pills to the area and sold them to smaller dealers, records show.

A month prior, Marcella Lorenzo Dunbar and Gerald Jones were each sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. They admitted to traveling from Detroit to Winchester in late 2016 and selling the drug to local users, according to court records. Dunbar was sentenced in February to more than eight years and Jones got more than four years.

Navarius Westberry, the leader of a drug trafficking organization that brought large amounts of heroin and fentanyl from Detroit to Richmond was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017. He was accused of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of 25-year-old Madison County resident Cory Brewer, records show.

Four of Westberry’s co-conspirators were also sentenced, including Fredrick Charles Robinson, who received a 20-year sentence for distributing a controlled substance that caused another overdose. Robinson was also from Detroit.

Also in 2017, Lamar “Juice” Chaves Thornton was arrested in Detroit after being accused of supplying heroin in Jessamine County. On Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, 2017, emergency crews responded to nine overdoses in 24 hours in Jessamine County. Four years prior to the 2017 arrest, Thornton was apprehended with about 96 grams of heroin, and he later pleaded guilty to trafficking.

In addition to drugs from Detroit funneling to Central Kentucky, several shootings involving men with Detroit ties have occurred in Lexington in the last three years.

Detroit native Robert McKissic is accused of killing Anthony B. Carter outside of an apartment complex on Jeffrey Court last October. He was arrested in January in his hometown.

Robert_McKissic
Robert McKissic, suspected in the shooting death of Anthony B. Carter on Oct. 26 in Lexington, was arrested in Detroit on a murder charge. Lexington Police Department

In September, two Detroit men were allegedly involved in a retaliation-driven plot that led to one of them being shot outside a Southern Middle School Football game. Police said Antonio Loyd and Randy Roberts kidnapped an individual and lured a man to the school over a previous incident. The man shot Loyd and fled the scene, police said.

Loyd was arrested shortly after the shooting and Roberts was arrested in December. Loyd had also been arrested the previous year on a conspiracy to traffic contraband charge.

Lexington police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said last year there was no reason to believe Roberts and Loyd had ties to Courtney Kidd, who was accused of murdering Jordan Yeast outside a Lakeshore Drive apartment in May 2017. Kidd was arrested in Detroit a month after the shooting.

Also arrested in Detroit was Tyler Mack, who was accused in July 2017 of firing 10 rounds outside Thornton’s on Redding Road.

In 2016, Devonte M. Hobbs of Detroit admitted to fatally shooting Timothy Brown Jr. outside the Russell Cave Road McDonald’s.

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