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Feds indict Kentucky sheriff’s deputy who led cartel-linked drug operation

February 22, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Feds indict Kentucky sheriff’s deputy who led cartel-linked drug operation

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WDRB 41 Louisville News

Prosecutors have indicted six men in Kentucky, including a special sheriff’s deputy, who feds say led a drug and money laundering operation linked to a Mexican drug cartel.

The indictment accuses former Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department deputy Chris Mattingly of leading a cartel-linked drug cell in Kentucky, which trafficked more than a ton of marijuana for operatives in Riverside, California, and Mexico.

Prosecutors indicted Ronnie Shewmaker, who worked as an alleged drug/money courier for Mattingly.

Authorities previously arrested Shewmaker in Perris, California with $420,0000 in cash. He was picked up late last week by the Bullit County Drug Taskforce.

Furthermore, the indictment charges Mattingly with one count of conspiracy to distribute meth, and federal investigators have accused him of plotting to kill a Captain with the Bullitt County Drug Task Force, which lead the investigation into the drug enterprise.

The U.S. Attorney also charged Eddie Whitfill, James F. Howard, Raymundo Carillo, and Hector Renato Orozco Landa with conducting financial transactions knowing the funds were for illegal activity.

Prosecutors describe Carillo as Mattingly’s contact with a known Mexican cartel based in California. Law enforcement officials said the indictment stemmed from a wide-ranging investigation that included dozens of wiretap conversations.

Authorities arrested Howard, Whitfill, and Shewmaker, who are all scheduled to be arraigned and will have a bail hearing on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office didn’t say if authorities have apprehended Carillo and Landa.

Mattingly pled not guilty back in September to drug trafficking charges and has since been held in the custody of the Oldham County jail without bail.

Brian Butler and Alex Dathorne, the attorneys representing Mattingly have petitioned the judge to set bail for their client and are attempting to have the wiretaps suppressed, by claiming authorities illegally obtained the taped conversations.

According to WDRB, the investigation into Mattingly’s drug dealing started last year, when federal agents who were conducting an investigation into a drug cartel over 2,200 miles away in Riverside California, picked up the sheriff’s deputy on a wiretap conversation.

Officials said, for years the cartel has been the target of multiple DEA investigations and are responsible for the distribution of narcotics in several states, including Kentucky, California, Texas, Georgia, and Missouri.

Police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars linked to Mattingly’s operation, which includes the October seizure of $237,000 in cash.

In November, authorities also discovered $60,000, in a cooler, stashed inside of a vehicle at a Breckenridge County car lot owned by Mattingly.

The Bullit County Sheriff’s said Mattingly worked as special deputy between 2013 and 2014. All of the defendants listed in the indictment could face life in prison if convicted.

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