A Berea couple has been sentenced following a federal indictment for conspiracy and distribution of drugs.

Rufus Holmes, 52, and his wife, Marlene Holmes, 47, were sentenced Jan. 8 in London by United States District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves. Rufus Holmes was sentenced to 87 months in prison, a special assessment of $300 and supervised release for three years. His wife will serve 60 months in prison and also pay $300 and be subject to supervised release for three years.

Attorney for Rufus Holmes, John P. Chappell, already has filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The couple was indicted in June 2006 on charges that they aided and abetted co-defendant Danny D. Clark and distributed a quantity of oxycodone pills. The alleged distribution of these pills reportedly took place in Madison and Rockcastle Counties, according to the indictment.

“The indictment alleged that from January of 1998 until April of last year, the Homes’ conspired with others to distribute and distributed, oxycodone pills ... ,” said Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Courtney Yopp Norris.

The amount of drugs involved in the case as well as other details of the crimes are not readily available, Norris said, because none of the defendants went to trial.

“Things like that which normally come out in trial didn’t because all except one (defendant) plead guilty,” Norris said.

Marlene Holmes pleaded guilty in August 2006, followed by her husband, who pleaded guilty in September 2006. The Berea couple was joined in the indictment by four others; Clark, Richard A. Clark, James Ellis Renner and Samuel Duane Lawson. Norris said Danny D. Clark is scheduled for sentencing Monday in London. All of the defendants pleaded guilty, with the exception of Richard A. Clark, who recently died, Norris said.

All of the defendants are from either Rockcastle or Madison County. Norris did not have details about how the defendants are related to one another.

A $1 million judgment or forfeiture was approved for both Rufus and Marlene Holmes, Norris said.

“This is very typical in drug cases,” Norris said. “Anything used or gained by the profit of selling drugs (is subject to forfeiture). Say they sell a bunch of drugs and buy a house. It is something that is done in appeals court and is a completely separate process.”

Any property or proceeds determined to have been gained as a result of the drug distribution can be forfeited to the United States, up to $1 million each.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kentucky State Police, Richmond Police Department, Drug Enforcement Special Investigations, Rockcastle County Sheriff’s Department, the London Police Department and the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen C. Smith was the lead attorney for the United States.

Kelly Foreman can be reached at kforeman@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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