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2 Kentucky men sentenced to federal prison for heroin conspiracy

COVINGTON, Ky. — Two Kentucky men were sentenced to federal prison on Thursday for conspiring to distribute heroin. The sentences resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rashad Ross, 34, was sentenced to 74 months in prison, and Antwan Wills, 29, received 37 months. Both men are from Covington, Ky. The defendants were sentenced Sept. 1 by U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves, Eastern District of Kentucky. They are required to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences and will be on supervised release for six years after their release from prison.

In September 2010, ICE HSI agents discovered about 77 grams of heroin in a package that was sent from Mexico and addressed to a residence in Elsmere, Ky.

Agents seized the heroin and, acting in an undercover capacity, delivered the package without the heroin on Sept. 3, 2010. Curtis Widner, a third defendant in the case, was arrested after accepting the package at his residence.

"Unfortunately, the demand for heroin is rising in many parts of Kentucky," said U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey. "We intend to work closely with our law enforcement partners to combat the increasing use of this dangerous substance. I commend the ICE agents for their work in this case. Their diligent efforts kept this heroin off our streets and led to the successful prosecution of these drug dealers."

Additional investigation showed that Wills and Ross collaborated to arrange for Widner to accept the heroin. Wills communicated directly with Widner. Ross attempted to pick up the package from Widner twice before law enforcement made its delivery.

Widner was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison in May for his role in the scheme.

Ross has a criminal history that dates back to 1997 when he was convicted of cocaine trafficking. He also has convictions for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and felony convictions for possessing drugs and weapons. His criminal history influenced the sentence imposed by the court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Bracke, Eastern District of Kentucky, successfully prosecuted the case.