PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Two men from Calvert City, Kentucky have been indicted by a federal grand jury for intentionally distributing a Schedule I controlled substance that caused death and serious bodily injury.
Thomas Hardin, 23, and Jevan Sheppard, 25, were charged in a five count indictment with conspiring with one another to possess and intentionally distribute U-4, a Schedule I controlled substance. They are the first defendants charged with U-4 distribution resulting in death in the Western District of Kentucky.
The grand jury indicted the pair on June 13. It was unsealed during their initial appearances in federal court on June 15.
Both men were arrested in March after police in Calvert City found two men, Karson May, 18, and Taylor May, 23, unresponsive inside a home. Taylor May died at the scene. His brother, Karson, was taken to the hospital for treatment. Witnesses told officers that the brothers had been using the synthetic drug commonly known as U4 or 'Pink' the night before.
Sheppard also faces a count of knowingly and intentionally importing into the United States, from China, an amount of U-4.
"My office is committed to attacking the supply of deadly opioids and bringing some measure of justice to the victims and their families," stated United States Attorney John Kuhn. "These federal charges carry a mandatory 20-year sentence upon conviction, without the possibility of parole. This indictment and prosecution, we hope, will deter others who consider trafficking this poison."
Kuhn is asking that the state charges against Hardin and Sheppard be set aside.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky John E. Kuhn, Jr., Calvert City Police Chief David Elliot; Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars; McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden; Marshall County Attorney Jeff Edwards; and Marshall County Commonwealth's Attorney Mark Blankenship all took part in the press conference.