Federal Jury Convicts Lexington, Kentucky Man of Armed Drug Trafficking

LEXINGTON, KY- The U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky is reporting that a Lexington man was convicted on Thursday, by a federal jury in Lexington, of drug trafficking and firearms offenses. 

After 3 hours of deliberations, following a 3-day trial, the jury convicted 36-year-old Chase Russell Downey of conspiracy to distribute and 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.  Evidence presented at trial established that on several occasions law enforcement conducted surveillance and encountered Downey.  On December 12, 2022, law enforcement observed Downey leaving a residence in Lexington carrying two large plastic bags and going to potential meet locations, where he would distribute cocaine. Subsequently, Downey was arrested and a search warrant was conducted on the local residence, where 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 has prior felony convictions and was on supervised release for at least one prior federal felony conviction at the time of the commission of these offenses.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Louisville Field Office; J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Louisville Field Division; and Phillip J. Burnett, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police (KSP), jointly announced the jury verdict.

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

Downey is scheduled for sentencing on February 23, 2024.  He faces a minimum of 30 years in prison.  However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.

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