Trafficking case expected to go federal

May 10—CATLETTSBURG — An Ashland man implicated in a drug trafficking bust may see federal charges arise from his April arrest, according to his attorney.

Phillip M. Conley, 28, was arrested at a residence in the 300 block of Ringo Street last month after the Northeast Drug Task Force executed a search warrant which turned up "a significant amount of fentanyl, marijuana, cash, scales and other paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking."

The press release stated investigators also seized a handgun, rifle and ammunition from the residence.

On Friday in Boyd County Circuit Court, Conley appeared via video conference from the Boyd County Jail for his initial arraignment before Circuit Judge George Davis following an indictment in two separate cases charging Conley with trafficking carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, trafficking less than 5 pounds of marijuana and convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

According to a previous press release by Boyd County Sheriff Jamie Reihs, his department, Ashland Police Department and Kentucky State Police's K9 unit assisted the Northeast Kentucky Drug Task Force in the investigation.

On Friday, defense attorney Michael Curtis, representing Conley, said he had spoken with Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Conn who anticipated federal prosecutors may pursue Conley's conviction in both cases.

As far as Conley's arraignment, Curtis waived a formal reading of the charges and entered a not-guilty plea to all counts on Conley's behalf.

Conley was scheduled to reappear before Judge Davis on June 21.

(606) 326-2652 — mjepling@dailyindependent.com