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Thomas Bentley (Boyd County Detention Center)

Boyd County, Kentucky Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Fentanyl Trafficking and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

ASHLAND, KY – The U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Kentucky is reporting that an Ashland man, Thomas Bentley, 38, was sentenced on Friday to 108 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, for possession with intent to distribute 40 grams of more of fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

According to his plea agreement, on March 18, 2022, law enforcement responded to trespassing call from a store in Cannonsburg, Ky., and when they arrived at the scene, they found Bentley, in his car in the parking lot.  Bentley was found with 53.8 grams of a heroin and fentanyl mixture, drug paraphernalia, $2,826 in cash, and a loaded firearm.  Bentley admitted that he had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Bentley had been convicted of possession of heroin, in February 2021.  Bentley pleaded guilty to the current charge in August 2022.

Under federal law, Bentley must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  He will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for four years after his release from prison. 

Carlton S. Shier IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Louisville Field Division; and Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods, Boyd County Sherriff’s Office, jointly announced the sentence. 

The investigation was conducted by the DEA and Boyd County Sherriff’s Office.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Greenfield.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.  It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts.  In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

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