Thompson Jr. pleads guilty to federal charges

September 14, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LEXINGTON - Ronnie Wayne Thompson pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of preventing the seizure of property belonging to his brother, Larry Gene Thompson Sr.

Ronnie Thompson, 48, of Mount Vernon, told U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester during his arraignment that he believed the government had enough evidence to convict him.

Larry Gene Thompson Sr. was sentenced earlier this month to 14 years on federal charges relating to a drug trafficking ring involving 24 others.

Ronnie Thompson faced two charges, the first relating to an incident on Jan. 31 in Lincoln and Rockcastle counties. According to assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Walker, Ronnie Thompson, during an act of search and seizure by Internal Revenue Service Agent Walter Woosley, "prevented the seizure of cattle and livestock ... and did transfer them." Count two relates to a false statement Ronnie Thompson allegedly gave authorities.


On Oct. 16, 2002, Kentucky State Police and federal agents executed search warrants on numerous locations in central Kentucky involving the drug operation of Larry Gene Thompson, Sr., his family and associates, according to federal court records. Federal agents wanted to identify assets of Thompson, Sr.'s that were proceeds of the narcotics trafficking. A restraining order had also been placed on Thompson Sr., and any relative of his who may have had property in their control that in which Thompson Sr., had interest. Some of that property included livestock.

When approached by special agents in January, Ronnie Thompson admitted to moving some property to his farm, but at a later date he denied he owned cattle that belonged to his brother. Walker told Judge Forester Friday that Ronnie Thompson had sold cattle to the Garrard County Stockyards but put the checks from those transactions in his daughters' names. When agents spoke with Thompson's wife and daughters, they said they had no knowledge of the cattle sale.

"Do you think the government can prove that?" Judge Forester asked Thompson, speaking of the U.S. Government's allegations.

"Yes, sir," said Thompson.

"How do you plead?" asked Judge Forester.

"Guilty," said Thompson.

Thompson now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and not more than a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m. He has been free on bond since Aug. 13, the day after he was arrested, and will remain so until his sentencing.

Leaving the federal courthouse with his court-appointed lawyer, David Brock, Ronnie Thompson had nothing to say.

"No comment," he said.

"There's nothing to comment about," said Brock.

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