COVINGTON | Tim Fegan, the former director of the Buffalo Trace/Gateway Area Narcotics Task Force, a federally funded agency, entered a guilty plea in federal court Friday.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye Turner made the joint announcement Friday after Fegan's appearance in U.S. District Court in Covington.
Fegan, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money. He acknowledged he took cash proceeds that Task Force agents had seized during drug investigations and took money that the Task Force kept on hand to perform undercover drug buys, officials said.
Fegan was indicted Dec. 5, by a federal grand jury in Lexington on three counts under U.S. Code 666(a)(1)(A) for receiving "more than $10,000 of federal funds in a 12 month period, embezzled, stole, obtained by fraud, otherwise without authority knowingly converted to the use of a person other than the rightful owner, and intentionally misapplied property valued cumulatively at $5,000 or more and owned by and under the care, custody, and control of the Buffalo Trace/Gateway Area Narcotics Task Force..."
On Dec. 19, Fegan, with his attorney Jon Alig of Wilder, entered a not guilty plea to the charges; a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Feb. 10 was rescheduled for Friday, Feb. 28.
In their press release, Harvey and Turner said between November 2011 and November 2012, the Buffalo Trace/Gateway Narcotics Task Force received approximately $150,000 in federal funding. Fegan admitted he stole thousands of dollars in Task Force funds during this period. At sentencing, the court will determine the total amount of money Fegan stole from the Task Force, during the period from Dec. 31, 2009 to November 2012.
The BTGANTF was organized by several county and city governments and was responsible for the investigation of drug crimes in various northern and eastern Kentucky counties. The Task Force was funded by federal and state grants and contributions from the county and city governments that formed the Task Force. The Task Force’s operations were based in Maysville and Fegan worked for the Task Force during this period, including serving as interim executive director from Dec. 31, 2009 through March 2010 and executive director from April 2010 until November 2012.
The Task Force officially ceased its operations in June 2013.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone is prosecuting this case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of the federal government.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 19, 2014. The theft of government money offense carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal statutes.