LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A Lexington man was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on Monday.

Michael Byrd, 34, was sentenced in federal court for conspiring to distribute fluorofentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of fluorofentanyl, and possession with intent to distribute 10 grams or more of fluorofentanyl.

He was charged after an investigation indicated conspiring with two others to distribute drugs from January 2021 to March 2022 in Fayette County.

The investigation found large quantities of illegal drugs were seized after searches of a vehicle and a Lexington residence. Items were also collected from a foot pursuit which resulted in a police K-9 overdosing from drug exposure.

Byrd pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2022.

At his sentencing, the court determined his role in the drug distribution conspiracy involved over 4.6 kilograms of fluorofentanyl. Byrd had also been previously convicted of:

  • First-degree robbery
  • First-degree burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Wanton endangerment
  • First-degree fleeing or evading police
  • Felony possession of a handgun

“In addition to his extensive and violent criminal history, the defendant was illegally dealing in massive amounts of fluorofentanyl, a powerful opioid analogue of fentanyl,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “This drug is particularly dangerous and frequently fatal – and he was responsible for more than four and half kilograms.  In this case, a police canine was exposed to it, overdosed, and needed veterinary care.  Clearly, the risk to the public from his conduct was enormous.  His sentence is certainly warranted and would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of all our law enforcement partners.”


“Drug dealers with guns are criminals who pose an increased threat to the safety of our communities,” said ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Maynard of the Louisville Division. “The sentencing of Michael Byrd is another example of the ongoing efforts of ATF and the Lexington Police Department working together to make our communities safer for everyone.”

Under federal law, Byrd must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.