For Immediate Release
United States Attorney Annonces Charges Against More than Two Dozen Felons in Law Enforcement Surge to Reduce Violent Crime
Several Charged in a Conspiracy with Stealing Nearly One-Hundred Firearms from Licensed Dealers in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman announced that the Louisville Federal Grand Jury returned 21 felony indictments charging 23 individuals this week with multiple counts, including firearms violations, possession and distribution of scheduled drugs as well as the filing of an additional criminal complaint of two Tennessee residents charged in a conspiracy of stealing nearly one-hundred firearms from dealers licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
"These arrests are yet another significant deposit on our promise to reduce violence in this Commonwealth," stated United States Attorney Coleman. "Working together with our law enforcement partners, we will not concede one block of our city to drug traffickers, gang members, or, as we demonstrated today, felons with firearms. Stay tuned."
U.S. Attorney Coleman was joined in today's announcement by the Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas Wine, ATF Special Agent in Charge Stuart Lowery, and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who stood shoulder to shoulder with numerous prosecutors from the United States Attorney's Office, in a committed effort and shared partnership to reduce violent crime. These charges were developed through an ongoing partnership of multiple law enforcement agencies to maximize penalties for the most violent repeat offenders.
This week, Kashma Floyd Dardy, Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, and Marvin Dale Johnson, of Madison Tennessee, were charged with conspiring and stealing firearms from licensed dealers located in Bowling Green and Owensboro, Kentucky. Dardy was charged with the burglary of Wheeler's Fastway Gun and Pawn located at 4848 Scottsville Road in Bowling Green. Johnson was charged with the burglary of Wheeler's as well as another burglary of Whittaker Guns, LLC, located at 6980 West Louisville Lane in Owensboro. According to the affidavit attached to the criminal complaint, firearms stolen from the dealers were recovered from both defendants.
The crimes of others charged include being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute Schedule I controlled substances, using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. Three defendants were also charged with discharge of a firearm during, and in relation to, a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder, one defendant is currently charged in the shooting death of 7-year-old DeQuante Hobbs, Jr., and two other defendants have prior manslaughter convictions.
Among those charged and arrested are Philquan Acuff, 33; Gary Burse, 27; Dakoven Ford, 20; Isiah Tamele Fugett, 36; Keith Alan Haggard, 46; Demetris Dion Johnson, 36; Treyshawn Jones, 25; Byron K. King, Jr., 21; Benjamin Schildknect, 33; Philip Stivers, 31; Wyatt Williams, 23; Javier Rodriguez and co-defendants Dwayne Castle, 44, and Charles Cater, 42; all of Louisville.
Defendants Rodriguez, Castle, and Cater are charged with discharge of a firearm during, and in relation to, a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin.
Defendant Acuff is charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and marijuana, both Schedule I controlled substances. Further, Acuff is charged with possession of a firearm, a Smith & Wesson, Model M & P, .40 caliber handgun, in furtherance of a drug crime, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm having been convicted in Jefferson County Circuit Court of trafficking in a controlled substance, facilitation to robbery, and wanton endangerment.
Defendant Burse is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm having been convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court of Manslaughter II, robbery, tampering with physical evidence, burglary, and intimidating a witness in a legal process. Burse allegedly possessed a Walther, Model PK380, .380 caliber semi-automatic firearm; a Ruger, Model SR22, .22 caliber semi-automatic firearm; and ammunition.
Defendant Ford, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Glock 19, 9 millimeter handgun and ammunition, having been convicted of robbery in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Defendant Fugett, a/k/a Isiah Phillip, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, having been convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court of Manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence. Fugett allegedly possessed a Glock Model 23, .40 caliber pistol, and ammunition.
Defendant Haggard is charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and with being a felon in possession of a firearm, having been convicted in Meade Circuit Court of trafficking in a controlled substance. Haggard allegedly possessed a Xin Shi Dai, Model SKS, 7.62x39mm caliber semi-automatic rifle, and ammunition.
Defendant Johnson is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Bersa .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol, having been convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Defendant Jones is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Taurus, model PT1455PRO, .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, and ammunition, having been convicted of a receiving stolen property and tampering with physical evidence in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Defendant King is charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a Smith & Wesson, Model SD40VE, .40 caliber handgun, having been convicted of receiving a stolen firearm in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Defendant Schildknect is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, an Omega .22 caliber revolver, a Colt PTF A handgun, and ammunition, having been convicted of burglary in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Defendant Stivers is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Walther, PK380, .380 Caliber semi-automatic firearm, and ammunition, having been convicted of possession of a forged instrument, facilitation to kidnapping, assault, and robbery in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Defendant Williams is charged with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a HiPoint 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol.
If convicted at trial, the maximum sentence for unlawfully possessing a firearm is no more than ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Bonar, Nute Bonner, Bryan Calhoun, Scott Davis, Tom Dyke, Larry Fentress, Lettricea Jefferson-Webb, Joshua Judd, Corinne Keel, Jessica Malloy, Stephanie Zimdahl, and Michael Bennett. The cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Louisville Metro Police Department, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The U.S. Attorney's Office is partnering with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Kentucky. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels oflaw enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Today's indictments are part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.