The Richmond Register

Crime

October 17, 2012

Leader of drug ring enters guilty plea in federal court

Jakolbe Chenault was scheduled to stand trial Monday

RICHMOND — A man accused of dealing large quantities of cocaine in Madison County and laundering money through his Richmond clothing store has entered a plea agreement just days before his trial in federal court.

Jakolbe “Kolbe Cheese” Chenault agreed Friday to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to federal court documents. Chenault and Ellington were scheduled to stand trial Monday in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

U.S. District Attorney Robert Duncan Jr. indicated that he would be seeking a prison sentence of 30 years in the case, the plea agreement stated. Chenault also was classified as a career criminal based his numerous prior felony convictions.

It took years for local law enforcement officers to built their case against Chenault and members of his drug ring, but it led to the arrest of nearly a dozen people and also to the bodies of a couple that had been missing for nearly two years.

LeBruce Ellington, who was a part of Chenault’s drug ring according to the indictment, also entered into a plea agreement Friday but those documents were sealed. He will not be sentenced until June 3, 2013.

Duncan did not return phone calls Tuesday to answer questions about the plea agreements.

Investigation and arrests

On Oct. 21, 2011, Richmond police arrested Jermaine Carter after witnesses told police he had fired shots at the Super 8 motel on North Keeneland Drive. His wife, Sarah Carter, and another woman were in the room at which he was allegedly firing. Sarah Carter told police she recently had filed for an emergency protective order against her husband, according to the federal complaint from Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives Agent Russel R. King.

The Drug Enforcement Agency already had video evidence of Carter selling cocaine on more than one occasion, the complaint stated. After his arrest in the hotel shooting, Carter waived his Miranda rights and told police he had been dealing cocaine for Chenault since May 2009, according to the complaint.

Carter, and later Ellington, also told police that Chenault had paid $20,000 to have Charles “Chew” Walker killed because he believed Walker had stolen money from him, according to a search warrant affidavit in the homicide case.

Information given by Carter and Ellington led police to Daniel Keene, who confessed that he and another man, Matthew Denholm, killed Walker for money and also his girlfriend, Sonsaray “Sonsi” Warford, the affidavit stated. Keene led police in late March to the couple’s bodies, which had been buried off Tates Creek Road for almost two years.

Keene and Denholm have both been charged with murder in the case. Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith said the homicides were still under investigation.

Indictments and plea agreements

At the time of Carter’s confession, Chenault was in the Shelby County Detention Center serving a sentence for a wanton endangerment conviction. Carter told police Chenault’s girlfriend, Christina Thieleman, was running Chenault’s drug business from a Louisville home.

The next day, Oct. 22, police obtained a search warrant for Thieleman’s home and found 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, more than $98,000 in cash and firearms, according to the federal complaint.

In addition to Carter, Chenault and Thieleman, five more people were arrested in connection with the drug ring. They were Bryan “Murder” L. Campbell, Shaquille “Quille” K. Williams, Franklin “Nitty” M. Floyd, Nikita “Youngster” M. Jenkins and James Phelps. Ellington was later added to the indictment.

All people named in the drug-trafficking ring, except for Campbell, have entered plea agreements in federal court and were given sentences ranging from 12 months to 10 years.

Chenault’s plea agreement stated that he was supplied with cocaine by Ruben “Big Shitty” A. Catching, who also was his business partner at JaRu’s New Fashions in Richmond. Although clothing and other items were sold at the store, “Chenault admits that one purpose of the store was to launder the proceeds of his and Catching’s drug trafficking activity,” the agreement stated.

Chenault also admitted to laundering drug money through payments his girlfriend made on a house at 121 Oakland Avenue in Richmond.

Catching pleaded guilty Aug. 8 in federal court to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19.

Catching’s brother, Demetrius Catching, also was charged after police searched his Garrard County home last year and found drugs, according to court documents. Demetrius Catching pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine), and he will be sentenced Nov. 22, court documents show.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

Text Only
Crime
  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-24 Justin Smith.jpg One arrested, one sought in Sunday home invasion

    Two men in search of another man broke into a Keystone Drive home Sunday and harassed residents in another nearby home Monday, according to a Richmond Police report.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • RPD: Man falls through ceiling attempting to elude police

    When Richmond Police went to Cody Shelton’s Kristin Drive apartment at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to arrest him on a parole-violation charge, they said he attempted to elude them by hiding in the attic crawl space.

    July 18, 2014

  • Man indicted in Manhattan Club shooting

    A man charged in a May 20 shooting at the Manhattan Club in which a man was wounded was indicted Wednesday by a Madison County grand jury.

    July 17, 2014

  • 7-18 Aaron Tate.jpg Local burglary suspect found in Texas border town

    A man wanted in Madison County on burglary and criminal mischief charges since March was arrested July 11 by the U.S. Marshal Service in Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexican board.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother pleads guilty to allowing child rape

    Deanna Lawson, charged with 20 counts of complicity in the rape and sodomy of a minor, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court on Wednesday.
    Between October 2011 and September 2012, Eric Kelley had sexual relations with Lawson’s two daughters, according to court documents.
    She was charged with complicity after police said they learned Lawson knew of the crimes but didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities.

    July 12, 2014

  • No extra jail time for parents on prostitution charge

    Anthony and Kathy Hart, two Madison County residents who pleaded guilty May 21 to prostituting their daughters, won’t be seeing any extra time in jail.
    Both parents, who served time in jail while their charges were pending, were sentenced to probation Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

    July 11, 2014

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results