Clay minister found guilty in drug case

A well-known Clay County minister helped launder hundreds of thousands in drug money and hide a federal fugitive, a federal jury has ruled.

The jury convicted Wayne Reid, 60, and his wife Donna Reid, 59, of Burning Springs, late Wednesday.

The Reids had denied any involvement in the crimes. But after deliberating about four hours, jurors convicted them on all the charges they faced.

The jury also said the Reids should pay $800,000 and forfeit about 120 acres of land and three houses because the cash and property were linked to drug trafficking, according to a court record.

Reid had been free on bond before the trial, but U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves ordered him jailed after the verdict, at the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Smith.

Reeves allowed Donna Reid to remain free. To stay out of jail, however, she has to come up with $200,000 by Sept. 26 to replace the bond the couple posted earlier.

That's because that money was "tainted" with drug proceeds, according to an entry in the court record.

The Reids are to be sentenced Jan. 5. They face a maximum of 30 years in prison, though under advisory federal guidelines they will probably get considerably less time behind bars.

Reid, pastor of a Baptist church, and his wife were accused of scheming to conceal the proceeds of Larry Golden Jackson Jr.'s marijuana business from January 2000 to November 2005.

Jackson allegedly provided drug money the Reids used to buy assets.

Trial testimony showed the Reids bought land and more than $2 million worth of heavy equipment and built houses and a convenience store during the conspiracy, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The Reids took out loans to develop property and then made large "unexplained" cash payments on the loans. They also deposited large amounts of cash at a bank, including $470,000 over eight months in 2000, the release said.

And in January 2005, the Reids gave their daughter some property, then bought it back from her about a month later for $225,000, according to the release.

A federal grand jury indicted Jackson in 2002, but he fled. The Reids were convicted of hiding him for a time while he was a fugitive.

Ultimately, Jackson didn't return the favor, testifying against the Reids.

Among other things, Jackson said before he took off to Arizona to avoid the federal charges, he received a Bible signed by Reid, and that he visited the Grand Canyon with the couple while on the lam, according to a story in the Manchester Enterprise.

Police ultimately caught Jackson. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 188 months in prison.

Jackson and a co-defendant, Eugene "Moose" Stewart, also were ordered to pay a $5 million judgment, representing the gross proceeds of the marijuana operation, according to court records.