Federal jury convicts Lincoln man of drug-trafficking, firearm offenses

Published 5:30 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

LEXINGTON — A Lincoln County man has been convicted in federal court on drug-trafficking and weapons charges.

William J. Hampton of Lincoln County was convicted Feb. 27 by a federal jury after a two-day trial, according to a report released the following day by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Hampton was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8 in Lexington.

In January of last year, Stanford Police officers observed Hampton driving a vehicle with no taillights and a flat tire, according to trial testimony. When stopped by officers, Hampton falsely identified himself and attempted to flee, with officers pursuing him for about three miles down U.S. 27 before he was apprehended.

Police found approximately 120 grams of methamphetamine in the front passenger area of Hampton’s vehicle, as well as a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol. As a convicted felon, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The investigation was handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Stanford Police Department, and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Tanner Bradley and Ron Walker represented the United States in the case.

According to the news release, the case is part of the Department of Justice initiative Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which aims to reduce violent crime through a collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement.

“The goal of the PSN Program is to use these partnerships to make communities safer,” the release states.

Hampton faces a minimum mandatory sentence of no less than 10 years and no more than life imprisonment on the drug charge, as well as a minimum mandatory sentence of five years connected to the firearm charge, consecutive to any sentence imposed for the drug offense.