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Lexington, Kentucky Man Sentenced to 47 Years for Armed Drug Trafficking

LEXINGTON, KY (Monday, April 1, 2024) – The U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky is reporting that a Lexington man, Chase Russell Downey, 36, was sentenced on Friday, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, to 47 years in prison, for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

Following a jury trial in October 2023, Downey was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to testimony at trial, Downey was selling kilogram quantities of cocaine in Lexington. Downey had a residence in Mexico, that he used as a base of operation in Mexico; he had a residence in Houston, Texas; and he had a residence where he stayed in Lexington. The evidence established that law enforcement conducted surveillance and encountered Downey, on several occasions. Then, on December 12, 2022, law enforcement observed Downey leaving a residence in Lexington, while carrying two large plastic bags, and going to potential meet locations, where he would then distribute cocaine. Ultimately, Downey was arrested, and a search warrant was executed on the Lexington residence. There a large amount of cocaine, other drugs, numerous loaded firearms, and $70,000 in drug trafficking proceeds were seized.

Additional investigation determined that Downey made at least fourteen trips to Mexico during the relevant period. Downey also had prior felony convictions and was on supervised release for at least one federal felony conviction at the time of the commission of these offenses.

Under federal law, Downey must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Louisville Field Office; Erek Davodowich, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Louisville Field Division; Col. Phillip J. Burnett, Jr., Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police (KSP); and Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department, jointly announced the sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, DEA, KSP, and Lexington Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

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