PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - The leader of a large drug trafficking organization operating in McCracken County, Kentucky, was sentenced today to ten years in prison and 5-year period of supervised release for conspiracy to traffic in large amounts of crack cocaine, cocaine powder, and marijuana.
During a twelve year period, from June 1999 until June 2011, Gary Owen Jackson, Jr., 40, allegedly conspired with others to intentionally distribute over 280 grams of cocaine base, 5 kilograms of cocaine powder, and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
"Dangerous, illegal and addictive drugs remain a huge problem for western Kentucky," stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn, "but cases like this can make a difference. Here, the ATF and the Paducah Police Department worked together to shut down a large drug trafficking organization operating in the Paducah community. Federal and local authorities will continue to collaborate until we have swept every last one of these drug networks out of our streets."
Jackson was charged in a three count federal indictment on June 17, 2014, and pleaded guilty to all three charges on September 15, 2015.
Jackson is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and has been in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons since October 9, 2012 due to a federal firearms charge that he pleaded guilty to before his drug case began.
According to court pleadings, Jackson directed the purchase and sale of controlled substances, including crack cocaine, cocaine powder, and marijuana, primarily in the Paducah area.
Sometimes Jackson would have narcotics transported to Paducah and other times he would travel in order to pick-up the narcotics or have others pick-up the narcotics for him.
Law enforcement said that Jackson would rarely conduct drug transactions with customers or take payment personally.
Jackson's primary distribution method would be to have customers place orders with him, or with co-conspirators working under his direction, with Jackson then having the drugs delivered and payment received using friends and associates.
Multiple controlled buys of the drugs were performed by law enforcement using confidential informants.
Jackson was involved in and knew about the sale of drugs during these controlled buys, either by being present during the drug transaction, communicating with customers or couriers over the phone, or otherwise giving approval for the drug transactions to occur.
When Jackson's friends or associates would deliver drugs to customers, Jackson would approve the sale and oftentimes set the price.
Jackson would also obtain cocaine powder and, with the help of friends and associates, transform the cocaine powder into crack cocaine in order to sell it on the street.
The reason for doing this was that more money can be made from selling an amount of crack cocaine than could be made selling an equal amount of cocaine powder.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nute Bonner and Larry Fentress and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Paducah Police Department.