13 arrested during ICE HSI narcotics investigation
OWENSBORO, Ky. — A total of 13 people were arrested Wednesday in connection to a large-scale narcotics trafficking operation following an investigation by multiple federal law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents in Kentucky.
According to court documents unsealed in federal court this week, the following defendants are charged with engaging in two conspiracies to distribute methamphetamine in Daviess County, Kentucky and elsewhere:
- Prince Northington (37, of Owensboro)
- Barri B. Brown (35, of Hopkinsville)
- Andrew Derington (33, of Owensboro)
- Trenton Brown (27, of Owensboro)
- Ryan Bean (36, of Owensboro)
- Christopher Vasquez (39, of Owensboro)
- Brittany Swihart (34, of Owensboro)
- Christopher Williams (40, of Owensboro)
- Avery Green (25, of Owensboro)
- Cedric Swanagan (35, of Owensboro)
- Nicole Toliver (27, of Owensboro)
- Courtland Reed (30, of Louisville)
- Birdie Lawless (28, of Owensboro)
Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Barri B. Brown is also charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Green and Toliver are also each charged with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment was unsealed today during initial proceedings before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky made the announcement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Owensboro-Daviess County Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AHIDTA) Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations Nashville, the Owensboro Police Department, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, the Kentucky State Police, the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dahl is prosecuting the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at justice.gov/OCDETF.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.