Sydnor receives long sentence for role in drug conspiracy ring

The final perpetrator involved in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in Pendleton and Grant County faced Judge David Bunning of the Eastern District of Kentucky federal Court.

Greg Sydnor, 30, of Falmouth hung his head as was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison. He was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release to be served after completion of his prison term.

Sydnor was convicted of leading a conspiracy that was responsible for distributing more than 1.5 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in 2017.

Being labeled as a leader was a role that Sydnor’s lawyer, Gary Sargent, challenged in court before the sentencing. Sargent made the case that the other defendants were turning on him and establishing him as the leader to lessen their sentences.

U.S. Attorney Tony Bracke argued that Sydnor’s own words prove otherwise. They had him on recording twice. He told a confidential informant that “He’s my boy.” In another incident, he told the informant, “If he is short, I’ll take care of it. He works for me.”

In denying the idea that Sydnor was not the leader of the ring, Judge Bunning pointed out that in the plea agreement that Sydnor signed and agreed to, he admitted to being the ringleader.

While the defense was seeking the minimum sentence of 240 months, they asked for a mental evaluation.

“At the pre-sentencing interview, Sydnor asked for a psychological evaluation,” said the defense attorney. “Mr. Sydnor has been off drugs and his mind is clearer. He is not suicidal but suffers from depression.”

A pre-sentencing evaluation would take six months, and Judge Bunning denied that option but did require Sydnor participate in mental health program available in the federal prison system.

Sydnor took the opportunity to read to the court a prepared statement that his attorney indicated the defendant had spent considerable time preparing.

“Each time I was arrested I went farther away from who I am,” she said about his lengthy juvenile and adult arrest record.

“My brain is not wired like a normal person,” he said in explaining his turn to drugs to deal with the depression he was battling.

“I love my mom with everything I have and she has to watch me being locked away. My mom is hurting more than me,” he offered while pointing out that his mom had tried to get him help.

Sydnor also lamented that he had not been the father to his two girls that he wanted to be asking the court for a shorter sentence so he could see his mother before she passes and his daughters as adults.

Judge Bunning indicated that he sees many cases like Sydnor where “they are in and out, in and out of the state court. Then they catch a  federal   charge   and   their eyes get big because of the length of sentences.”

During his prepared statement, Sydnor admitted that after he was arrested on August 3, he was back to selling and using drugs 11 days after being released.

Judge Bunning referred to that action by Sydnor as “thumbing his nose at the court and was going to do what he wanted.”

It was also a point that the U.S. Attorney hammered home.

“He had a chance to make a break and two months later  arrested for selling methamphetamine,” said Bracke. “The road that has brought us here is the road Greg chose.”

He added, “He advanced from juvenile court committing crimes to adult court committing crimes.”

Sydnor had five prior felony convictions and the U.S. Attorney’s office was seeking a sentence of 420 months.

Court documents established that Sydnor regularly distributed methamphetamine to other traffickers and sold methamphetamine to minors. He, and other members of the conspiracy, also possessed firearms while selling the drugs.

Sydnor was indicted in November 2017 along with other members of his conspiracy. All entered guilty pleas.

William Todd Ramsey was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and Sterling T. Cole was sentenced to 157 months in prison in November 2018. Nathaniel Hughes was sentenced to 37 months in prison in September 2018.

Under federal law, each defendant must serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence.

The investigation that led to the convictions was conducted by the Pendleton County Sheriff’s Department, DEA, and the Kentucky State Police.