(STL.News) – A Lexington, Ky., man, Tyzon Zavonne Edwards, 22, was sentenced in federal court on Monday, to 140 months in prison, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, for possession with intent to distribute 40 grams of or more of fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to his plea agreement, on October 1, 2019, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and identified Edwards, who had a warrant out for his arrest, as a passenger.  The vehicle fled from police, eventually stopping to allow Edwards to get out and flee on foot.  Edwards admitted that while running from police, he hid a bag containing 91.5 grams of fentanyl and a loaded .40 caliber pistol, in a recycling bin.  Edwards further admitted that he knowingly possessed the fentanyl with intent of distributing it to others and that he possessed the firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.

Edwards pleaded guilty in May 2020.

“Armed drug traffickers like Tyzon Edwards present a real danger to the community, especially when they flee from the police while in possession of more than 90 grams of deadly fentanyl and a loaded pistol,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “In coordination with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to prosecute cases like this, in our efforts to reduce violent crime and hold dangerous offenders accountable for their conduct.”

Edwards was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.  Under federal law, Edwards must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department, jointly made the announcement.

The investigation was directed by ATF, and Lexington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco Villalobos.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.  It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts.  In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan Jr., coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

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