DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 1, 2019
Robert M. Duncan, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Gabrielle Dudgeon

Laurel County Man Sentenced to 140 Months for Armed Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

LONDON, Ky. — Scott Patterson, 43, of Lily, Kentucky, was sentenced Friday to 140 months in federal prison, by United States District Court Judge Robert E. Wier, for conspiracy to traffic drugs and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Patterson pled guilty to the charges in June 2018.  According to his plea agreement, Patterson was obtaining methamphetamine, Xanax, marijuana, and oxycodone and was working together with others to sell these drugs in Laurel, Whitley, and Clay Counties.  Patterson also admitted to being armed during the course of his drug trafficking activities.  Patterson’s involvement in drug trafficking ended on June 2018, when he was arrested after breaking into a residence while possessing a firearm, methamphetamine, Xanax pills, and about $6,000 in drug proceeds. 

Patterson admitted in his plea agreement that he had been previously convicted to a felony offense related to the manufacture of methamphetamine in 2010. 

Four others who participated in the conspiracy have previously pled guilty and been sentenced, including:  Jake Messer (150 months), Josh Towe (121 months), Myra Vandenk (61 months), and Henry Hall (53 months).  Messer, Towe, and Hall all possessed firearms in connection to their drug trafficking offenses.  According to court documents, Hall’s residence was a target of a series of raids on July 4, 2018.  Over $300,000 in drug proceeds from Xanax sales was seized from Hall. 

The July 4, 2018 raids also included searches of the residence of Jeffrey Ghent and Ricky Melton, both of whom have also pled guilty and been sentenced as co-defendants of Patterson.  From Ghent’s residence, law enforcement seized nearly 300 grams of high purity crystal methamphetamine and four firearms.  From Melton’s residence, law enforcement seized methamphetamine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, Xanax, marijuana, over $27,000 in drug proceeds, and 22 firearms, 12 of which were loaded.  In connection with these offenses, earlier this year, Ghent was sentenced to 110 months in prison and Melton was sentenced to 120 months. 

Under federal law, each of these individuals must serve 85 percent of their prison sentence; and upon their release, they will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Tommy Estavan, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the ATF Louisville Field Division; Richard Sanders, Commissioner of Kentucky State Police; Chris Fultz, Chief of Manchester Police Department; Patrick Robinson, Clay County Sheriff; Col. Rusty Hedrick, Chief of Corbin Police Department; and Roger W. Bird, Chief of Williamsburg Police Department, jointly made the announcement.

The investigation was conducted by ATF, Kentucky State Police, the Manchester Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, the Corbin Police Department, and the Williamsburg Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew H. Trimble.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.


Louisville Field Division