Former Williamsburg police officer Kenneth Bradley Nighbert has apparently reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, according to court documents.
On May 28, Nighbert’s attorney, Luke Morgan, filed a motion to have his client rearraigned in U.S. District Court in London.
"A plea agreement has been reached and will be tendered to the court at the hearing," Morgan wrote.
So far no rearraignment date has been set. Nighbert had been scheduled to stand trial June 28 along with several co-defendants.
Nighbert and six other people, Larry Harville, 30; Michael Scott Ball, 35; Branden Ray Sutton, 32; Shannon Lee Taylor, 28; Tina Elizabeth Davis, 31; and Joritta Nicole Petrey, were indicted in April for being part of a conspiracy to traffic drugs.
All of them are accused of possessing and distributing prescription pills, mostly Oxycodone, from Dec. 2005 until May 18, 2007. Police believe they were supplied the pills by Demetrius Stringer – a Michigan drug dealer who pleaded guilty last year to distributing over 10,000 80mg Oxycontin pills in Whitley County.
Nighbert and Harville are also charged with burglarizing a Williamsburg pharmacy on Feb. 11, 2006, and taking $500 worth of controlled substances.
Nighbert resigned from the Williamsburg Police force in Sept. 2006, five months after he was involved in an on-duty traffic crash that injured another motorist. It was later learned he had used cocaine and Oxycodone prior to the accident. He received a probated sentence for the incident.
He is the son of former Williamsburg Mayor and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert
In 2007, Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputies charged Nighbert with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with physical evidence, prescription not in proper container, impersonating a peace officer and carrying a concealed deadly weapon after arresting him in southern Laurel County while investigating an unrelated stabbing incident at a business on American Greeting Card Road. He was sentenced to five years in jail and has been on parole for about 16 months in relation to that case.
Nighbert is also facing federal charges in connection with that incident.
If convicted on all counts, Nighbert could receive up to 35 years in prison.
Sutton, one of Nighbert’s co-defendants, has already reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2.
In a plea agreement, Sutton admits that he was approached by one of the central figures in the case, Nighbert, and asked if he would "assist him in the distribution of Oxycodone pills." He then agreed to sell pills for Nighbert. He claims to have sold approximately 10 to 20 Oxycontin 80 mg pills every other day for Nighbert for a period of about three weeks.
Sutton claims that after losing Nighbert as a source of pills, he began selling for another co-defendant in the case, Ball and even made trips to Detroit himself to purchase the drugs, including a failed trip during which he was robbed of $22,000 at a gas station. In all, he said he helped Nighbert and Ball sell about 2,543 Oxycontin 80 mg pills.
During the time when he sold pills for Nighbert, Sutton claims he watched Nighbert sells pills from his residence to then Williamsburg Police Chief Denny Shelley and Williamsburg Police Officer Bradley Boyd.
Shelley resigned under pressure in August 2007 after failing a random drug test the previous April. He tested positive for methadone.
Boyd served as an officer with the Williamsburg Police Department from April 1999 until Aug. 2009. Prior to resigning from the department, he was placed on suspension in late July 2009 after failing a drug test. He tested positive for opiates. In 2008, he was suspended for four days without pay for getting drunk in a Corbin bar.
In late November 2009, Boyd, the other officer named by Sutton, was arrested and accused of "doctor shopping" in order to obtain prescription painkillers illegally. The case against Boyd was dropped May 13 after a grand jury refused to return an indictment in the case.