PADUCAH, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Paducah Police Department updated the public on a large ongoing fentanyl trafficking investigation on Friday.

“In the summer of 2020, we started seeing an increase in fentanyl in the Paducah area. Knowing how dangerous this drug is, we began focusing on identifying how the fentanyl was coming into our community,” said Paducah Police Chief Brian Laird, during a news conference Friday.

“This affects every small town; small, medium, and large,” Laird said.

Police said a total of 23 people were charged during the 18-month investigation, with 14 arrests this week.

In the past week, a McKracken County grand jury indicted 23, and earlier this week a grand jury indicted several other people related to the case, said Laird.

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The police chief broke down the events leading up to the arrests.

He said SWAT teams were used to secure two locations one on Levin Avenue and another on Coronado Court, because of the violent criminal history of some of those involved.

“Both SWAT teams were able to safely secure the two locations and locate some of the wanted persons,” Laird said.

On Wednesday, five search warrants were served with a large number of drugs and cash being recovered.

Recovered materials Wednesday:

  • 3,000 fentanyl pills
  • “A few” ecstasy pills
  • Over a pound of marijuana
  • A 9mm rifle
  • About $217,000 in cash

Total recovered materials:

  • 8,000 fentanyl pills
  • Six handguns
  • Two rifles
  • More than $242,000 in cash

“We have violent felonies making lots and lots of money,” Laird said. “I don’t think that’s a good combination.”

  • Nearly $200,000 was taken during the execution of search warrant in Paducah, Kentucky, Wednesday September 14, 2022. (Paducah Police Department)
  • A gun taken during a long running investigation into a drug trafficking ring in Paducah, Kentucky, in 2022. (Paducah Police Department)
  • Nearly 8,000 fentanyl pills were taken during a long running investigation into a drug trafficking ring in Paducah, Kentucky, in 2022. (Paducah Police Department)
  • Nearly 8,000 fentanyl pills were taken during a long running investigation into a drug trafficking ring in Paducah, Kentucky, in 2022. (Paducah Police Department)

The police chief said they have found the average cost of a fentanyl pill in Paducah is $25, bringing the total value of the pills to about $200,000.

The Paducah Police Department offered thanks to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Illinois State Police, McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, and Kentucky Probation and Parole for their assistance during the investigation.

Those under investigation were well known in the Paducah are and by police for their significant criminal histories, according to the Laird.

Highlighting some of them, “They have a long history of violence, as well as drugs.”

Fentanyl, drug overdoses in Kentucky

The police chief said overdoses in Paducah have continued to rise year-over-year.

“Every year it probably goes up by 5,” he said.

The University of Kentucky College of Public Health released a report earlier in 2022 analyzing the overdose deaths in 2021.

Another report previously ranked Kentucky as the 12th highest for drug usage, and now, the CDC data is showing a 13.55% increase in drug overdoses from 2020 to 2021. That is 2,391 Kentuckians who died from overdoses in 2021 up from the 2,104 in 2020.

“Every overdose that we respond to gets investigated, especially if it is fentanyl,” Laird said. We look at that and see, ‘can we trace that back.'”

23 people charged

“We know these folks were heavily involved in it. We know they were supplying large amounts of fentanyl to this community,” Laird said.

“I think that the criminal histories … will let you know what kind of people are involved in the trafficking of fentanyl,” he said.

The police weren’t able to say exactly how far the spread of this fentanyl trafficking ring went only that it was vast.

“We sit next to the interstate and lots of United States highways come in and out of this community.”

The Paducah Police Department provided details on some of those involved and some of their histories. With two generations of a single family are involved, with someone listed as young as 19 and another as old as 47.

Of those arrested that were named in the news release, eight of 14 were younger than 30 years old.

  • Jasmine D. Baker, 19, of Ohio Street, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Garrett E. Beach, 26, of Metropolis, Illinois, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives) 2017 – possession of burglary tools
  • Avian M. Costello, 37, of Jack Gray Drive, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Lavance N. Davenport Sr., 46, of South Sixth Street, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives); On federal probation for distribution of crack cocaine; in 2011 – distribution of a controlled substance; in 2011 – possession with intent to distribute; in 2008 – supervised probation; in 2003 – distribution of cocaine; in 2001 – first-degree assault; in 2000 – trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine); in 2000 – carrying a concealed weapon (by a felon)
  • Lavanti N. Davenport, 20, of Levin Avenue, four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Enrico G. Fuhr, 28, of North 23rd Street, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) and two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Johnny B. Harmon III, 30, of Park Avenue, three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives); On probation for 2021 Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and 2019 First-degree wanton endangerment
  • De’Tysha L. Laster, 23, of Coronado Court, two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Christopher J. Russell, 37, of Jack Gray Drive, two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives); in 2021 – fraud (Florida); in 2015 – grand theft from dwelling (Florida) •
  • Samuel G. Shocklee, 23, of Calvert City, Kentucky, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl)
  • Cameron Shumpert, 29, of Levin Avenue, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, second or greater offense); in 2019 – use of a minor in a sexual performance; in 2019 – trafficking in marijuana; in 2019 – promoting contraband; in 2017 – possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; in 2017 – tampering with physical evidence; in 2012 – trafficking in a controlled substance
  • Dorian Q. Shumpert, 31, of Glenwood Drive, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, second or greater offense); in 2018 – first-degree promoting contraband; in 2015 – trafficking in a controlled substance; in 2011 – trafficking in cocaine
  • Dominick D. Tyler, 19, of Grand Rivers, Kentucky, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Paul G. West, 25, of Lone Oak Road, two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, second or greater offense); in 2021 – fleeing or evading police; in 2021 – fleeing or evading police, in 2021 – trafficking in a controlled substance (fentanyl); in 2021 – possession of a controlled substance
  • Enrico G. Fuhr, 28, of North 23rd Street (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Johnny B. Harmon III, 30, of Park Avenue (via Paducah Police Department)
  • De’Tysha L. Laster, 23, of Coronado Court (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Christopher J. Russell, 37, of Jack Gray Drive (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Samuel G. Shocklee, 23, of Calvert City (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Cameron Shumpert, 29, of Levin Avenue (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Dorian Q. Shumpert, 31, of Glenwood Drive (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Dominick D. Tyler, 19, of Grand Rivers (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Paul G. West, 25, of Lone Oak Road (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Lavance N. Davenport Sr., 46, of South 6th Street (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Avian M. Costello, 37, of Jack Gray Drive (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Garrett E. Beach, 26, of Metropolis, IL (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Jasmine D. Baker, 19, of Ohio Street (via Paducah Police Department)

9 people have been indicted, but not yet arrested

The Paducah Police Department is asking for help locating those who have not yet been arrested.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers by calling (859) 253-2020, online at www.bluegrasscrimestoppers.com, or through the P3 Tips app available at www.p3tips.com.   

  • Michael J. Abbage, 24, of Levin Avenue, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives); on probation for 2021 criminal possession of a forged instrument; in 2015 – second-degree robbery
  • Romeneo L. Beard, 21, of Levin Avenue, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Michelle L. Cohoon, 45, of Grogan Circle, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl)
  • Lisa D. Collins, 47, of Otis Dinning Drive, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) and speeding/10mph over limit
  • Lavance N. Davenport Jr., 27, of South Sixth Street, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, second or greater offense); on probation for 2021 first-degree fleeing and evading police; in 2021 – second-degree fleeing and evading; in 2021 – possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; in 2021 – possession of a handgun by a convicted felon; in 2021 – receiving stolen property; in 2016 – trafficking in marijuana; in 2016 – first-degree wanton endangerment; in 2016 – tampering with evidence
  • Channing T. Grentzer, 24, of Stately Vision Lane, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • McKenzie N. Hopkins, 21, of Ledbetter, Kentucky, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Xavier R. Mcphee, 34, of Walter Jetton Drive, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) and operating on a suspended/revoked operator’s license
  • Victor A. Morales-Martinez, 24, of Mayfield, Kentucky, trafficking in a controlled substance (carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives)
  • Michael J. Abbage, 24, of Levin Avenue (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Romeneo L. Beard, 21, of Levin Avenue (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Lisa D. Collins, 47, of Otis Dinning Drive (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Lavance N. Davenport Jr., 27, of South 6th Street (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Channing T. Grentzer, 24, of Stately Vision Lane (via Paducah Police Department)
  • McKenzie N. Hopkins, 21, of Ledbetter (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Xavier R. Mcphee, 34, of Walter Jetton Drive (via Paducah Police Department)
  • Victor A. Morales-Martinez, 24, of Mayfield (via Paducah Police Department)

The investigation is continuing and additional charges and arrested are expected.