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Las Vegas man sentenced to 27 years for drug trafficking

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 14:57:24-04

A Las Vegas man, who was convicted of trafficking methamphetamine and oxycodone from Nevada to Virginia and laundering the proceeds, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to 27 years in prison.

Richard Henry Kayian, 57, was found guilty by a jury in November 2017 of one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine and oxycodone, and one count of money laundering.  In addition, Kayian was ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $743,441.

The investigation leading to Kayian’s conviction was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and state and local law enforcement in southwest Virginia and Las Vegas.  This collaborative law enforcement effort resulted in 31 defendants entering guilty pleas or being found guilty of crimes related to the distribution of methamphetamine and opioids in Nevada, Virginia and Kentucky. 

According to evidence presented at Kayian’s trial and other hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, law enforcement agencies in Virginia and Nevada charged 32 individuals in late 2016 with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, oxycodone, and buprenorphine and money laundering.  

Evidence demonstrated that Kayian was responsible for recruiting distributors for the drug trafficking organization and sending large quantities of methamphetamine and oxycodone via UPS and Federal Express to numerous locations in Abingdon, Virginia and Glade Spring, Virginia. These drugs, along with buprenorphine, were then distributed throughout the southwest Virginia and in eastern Kentucky by members of the drug trafficking organization.  

Additionally, evidence gained from the investigation demonstrated that more than $1 million in proceeds from the drug sales in the Abingdon area were sent via wire transfers and bank deposits to Kayian and others in Las Vegas.