In Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 issue By Derek Aaron Times Journal Reporter
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - A Russell Springs man was sentenced to four months in prison followed by four months home incarceration last Friday in United States District Court for manufacturing marijuana plants.
Danny F. Coffey, 59, plead guilty on May 22 to charges that he grew more than 160 marijuana plants on his Russell Springs farm last September, which had an approximate street value of $250,000, according to U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of Kentucky's Western District.
Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. also sentenced Coffey to three years of supervised release following his prison and home incarceration time. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.
The Kentucky Governor’s Cannabis Eradication Task Force was working in Russell County on September 17 last year when a Kentucky State Police helicopter spotted a large marijuana growing operation on East Coffey Road in Russell Springs.
The marijuana was growing in a cornfield next to Coffey's residence, approximately 50 yards from the back door, and also to the rear of that residence, approximately 1/4 of a mile away across a cut field, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Once at Coffey's residence, KSP troopers located him and he admitted that he was the owner of the property, according to the release. Coffey made a statement that he was growing the marijuana to keep the farm afloat, according to Kentucky State Police.
A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent then arrived on the scene and discovered three or four 50-gallon black barrels that contained large marijuana plants that were tied down close to the ground with white rope to avoid detection, according to the release.
The law enforcement team destroyed eight marijuana plants from this location.
According to state police, all of the marijuana plants were videotaped and photographed before being cut.
The team then moved to a small cornfield beside the residence, 50 yards away, where they destroyed 162 marijuana plants that were tied down in the corn field.
These plants varied in height from nine to fourteen feet and all of the marijuana plants in the cornfield were also counted, photographed and videotaped, according to the release. All of the plants were destroyed following Coffey's initial arrest.
Local law enforcement officials assisted KSP during the arrest.
Coffey has no prior criminal history.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Kilmartin and investigated by the Kentucky Governor’s Cannabis Eradication Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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