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Friday, March 23, 2012

Feds Nab 25 People In Pot Bust In Bowling Green, More Arrests Expected.

Drug ring’s scope wide
Total of 25 allegedly involved, and more indictments possible

A total of 25 people are now named in a federal superseding indictment that accuses the group of operating a marijuana distribution ring in Bowling Green.

“The investigation is ongoing, and there is the possibility of future indictments,” Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving said.

Francisco Parra, Annabelle Ahamuda, Tony Barber, Bruce Beck, Paul Cuen, Bryson Hall, Carl Gene Jones Jr., Craig Larry, Roger Kollman, Jacob Paul Miller, Brian Scott Miller, Darrell Morgan, Michael Lee Perry, Edward Joseph Prentice, Julius Price, Ralph Rich, Scott Rich, Troy D. Rich, Michael D. Rich, Jonathan Watkins, Paul Michael Wilson and Robert Dart are accused of conspiring to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana from July 3, 2008, through April 6, according to the federal indictment filed March 14.

Beck, Jones Jr., Tim Manning, Michael D. Rich, Ralph Rich, Scott Rich, Stephanie Maria Rich, Troy D. Rich and Sonya Winters are charged with money laundering in the same indictment.

Ralph Rich, Stephanie Maria Rich, Winters and Dart are the four who were most recently added to the indictment. All named in the indictment are scheduled for an arraignment in federal court at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Originally dubbed “Operation Green Blizzard” in 2010, when eight of the 25 people were initially indicted, federal authorities at that time estimated that the drug trafficking organization grossed more than $1 million a year.

Task force detectives along with state and federal agencies investigated the case.

“This has been one of the largest drug-trafficking organizations that the drug task force has dealt with along with our federal partners the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Division,” Loving said.

“When you get into a large drug trafficking organization that’s multi-state with ties back to Mexico, it requires a state, local and federal partnership to adequately investigate and prosecute,” he said. “We’ve also worked hand in hand with the commonwealth’s attorney’s office and the United States attorney’s office. They have provided continuing assistance.”

A companion case in state court charges Troy Rich, Michael Rich, Jones, Perry, Watkins, Jacob Paul Miller and Brian Scott Miller with engaging in organized crime. Three other people are also named in the state’s organized crime indictment – Christopher Higgins, Michael Doolin and Patricia Alexander. Charges against Alexander were dismissed without prejudice Feb. 28, 2011. Doolin pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of trafficking in marijuana over 8 ounces but less than 5 pounds. The organized crime case against Higgins was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea on another case, according to Warren Circuit Court records.

Witnesses told police that Jones was the leader of the marijuana distribution ring here, according to Warren Circuit Court records. However, in text messages between Jones and Troy Rich, Jones calls Rich “boss man.”

On July 23, 2010, Jones and Troy Rich were traveling north on Interstate 65 when Kentucky State Police Trooper Rick Ellis stopped the 2005 Toyota Tundra they were in at the 94 mile marker, according to Warren Circuit Court records. Ellis could smell marijuana and searched the vehicle, where he found $40,287. They were arrested for marijuana possession, and the money was seized. In February 2009, a confidential informant told detectives that Jones, along with several others, was selling large amounts of marijuana. Detectives used a confidential informant to buy pot from Perry multiple times, according to local court documents.

During one transaction, the informant watched Jones take apart a large speaker on Perry’s vehicle, according to court records. Perry retrieved a pound of marijuana from the speaker and got inside the informant’s car. Detectives watched Perry as he drove to the home of Michael Rich, who is Troy Rich’s father. During another transaction, Perry discussed Jones’ legal issues concerning a traffic stop on I-65 in Elizabethtown, court records show.

On June 28, 2009, the Arkansas State Police intercepted 300 pounds of pot bound for Bowling Green. On July 20, 2009, Arkansas State Police intercepted 163 pounds of marijuana on its way here, according to court records. One of the men caught during that traffic stop named Jones and Troy Rich as the people here who were supposed to receive the shipment. The man estimated that he and others moved between 100 and 400 pounds of pot one to two times a week from Tucson, Ariz., to Jones and Troy Rich in Bowling Green.

The marijuana originated from Mexico, Loving said.

On Sept. 3, 2009, a confidential informant told police that Troy Rich, Jones and Miller controlled the entire marijuana trade in this area, according to court records. The informant told police that Troy and Michael Rich both laundered their money through their painting service, according to court records. On Jan. 25, 2010, a witness told police that Alexander worked as an accountant for the Riches’ painting business and that she received a quarter-pound of marijuana for making the books look legitimate, court records show.

Also in 2010, a confidential informant bought marijuana from Jacob Paul Miller, who said he was tired of how Troy Rich and Jones operated the marijuana distribution. Miller told the informant that Rich made all the decisions and treated Jones like a kid. Miller further named Doolin and Perry as the mules who were given $10,000 for each trip they made to Arizona to buy between 200 and 250 pounds of pot, court records show.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annabell Ahumada got charges dismissed after singing. She and her husband Paul Cuen were the Tucson suppliers. She lives off government assistance and has 6 kids so that makes it

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annabelle Ahumada is the mother of my son and her and her boyfriend Paul Cuen are the ones from Tucson Arizona where it was being picked up.I have been fighting for custody for a long time with no prevail. It's blows my mind that even after all that she walks free and continues to have custody of 6 children while living off the government. After singing, the case against her was dropped by Feds and CPS last month. God Bless america!
Your's truly, outraged father and citizen

5:55 PM  

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