Danville, Kentucky Man Sentenced for Trafficking Fentanyl Resulting in Overdose Death

LEXINGTON, KY – The U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky is reporting that a Danville, Ky., man, Akili O. Simpson, 23, was sentenced on Friday, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, to 26 years in prison, for conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl that resulted in death.

 According to his plea agreement, from March 2022 until July 2023, Simpson conspired with others to distribute quantities of fentanyl in Danville.  Simpson also admitted the quantity of the drugs involved in the conspiracy was at least 40 grams of fentanyl.  Following a distribution of drugs by Simpson, on November 3, 2022, a victim in Danville overdosed and died, due to the ingestion of fentanyl.  The fentanyl distributed by Simpson was in a counterfeit pill, which was marked to resemble an oxycodone pill.  During the investigation, law enforcement discovered Instagram messages on the victim’s phone that showed Simpson was the source of the fentanyl that caused the overdose death.

After Simpson’s federal indictment, multiple search warrants were executed and law enforcement located two firearms, ammunition, marijuana, drug trafficking paraphernalia, a drug ledger, and a money counting machine.  Simpson admitted to law enforcement agents that he obtained approximately 300 to 500 of the counterfeit pills per month for distribution in Danville.  Simpson further admitted that he knew that the pills contained fentanyl.

“This case is a stark reminder of the dangers of illicit fentanyl, its prevalence in our communities, and the devious methods of those selling it,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “These drugs are extremely dangerous and there is little way to know for certain what a drug dealer may be selling.  Dealers often distribute fentanyl in the form of counterfeit pills; but while they may look like legitimate pharmaceuticals, the pills contain fentanyl – about 100 times stronger than oxycodone.  Any disruption of this illicit fentanyl trade will surely spare others from tragic results, and this prosecution would not have been possible without the outstanding work of the Danville Police and the DEA.  Their efforts will energize the committed pursuit of those placing so many people in grave danger.”

“Illicit Fentanyl is the greatest drug threat facing America today, and people like Mr. Simpson, who sow misery and death in our communities, should expect to meet the full weight of the justice system for their actions,” said Erek Davodowich, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Division.

Under federal law, Simpson 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 for five years. 

United States Attorney Shier; Erek Davodowich, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Louisville Field Division; and Chief Tony Gray, Danville Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA and Danville Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Bradbury prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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