Saturday, March 30, 2002

Ex-deputy guilty of drug charges

Parrish convicted of distributing meth

The Associated Press

        PADUCAH, Ky. — A former Calloway County deputy sheriff was found guilty by a federal jury Friday of drug trafficking, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

        Max Parrish, 46, had been tried for five days in U.S. District Court in Paducah on charges of distributing methamphetamine and carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime, the statement said. He was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute and distributing 5 or more grams of meth, the statement said.

        Mr. Parrish is facing a maximum 45-year prison term and up to $2.25 million in fines. He will be sentenced before Judge Thomas B. Russell June 13 in Paducah.

        According to the statement, Mr. Parrish was seen on videotapes discussing drug transactions. Mr. Parrish had given a confession but testified during the trial that it was signed involuntarily, the statement said.

        Mr. Parrish testified Thursday that the only reason he confessed to the FBI that he had sold an ounce of methamphetamine was that he wanted to go home and take care of his family.

        During lengthy testimony in U.S. District Court in Paducah, Mr. Parrish said that FBI agent Phillip Lewzader told him when he was arrested last May 11 that his house was being searched. Mr. Parrish said his only concern was to comfort his wife, who has health problems and is prone to panic attacks.

        “At that point, I would have confessed to anything to go home and be with my family,” Mr. Parrish said.

        Defense attorney Ben Lookofsky then asked Mr. Parrish if his signed confession was inaccurate.

        “It most definitely is,” Mr. Parrish said.

        Mr. Parrish is charged with selling one ounce of methamphetamine for $1,700 to Laura Lamb. He said he sold Ms. Lamb what he believed was fake methamphetamine as part of a drug sting to arrest Ms. Lamb's cousin, whom Ms. Lamb described as a drug dealer involved in trafficking in Calloway County. Tests later revealed the meth was real.

        Ms. Lamb approached the FBI and helped build the case against Mr. Parrish.


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