Sentencing hearing rescheduled

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PIKEVILLE - The sentencing of a Magoffin man found guilty earlier this year on drug conspiracy and distribution charges has been rescheduled for August.

In January, Howard Harlow Back, 76, of the Lick Branch Community off KY 378, was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone and 12 counts of distribution of Oxycodone after a three-day trial held in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

Four other individuals involved in the conspiracy – 27-year-old Jeff Bailey, 51-year-old Matt Bailey Sr., 29-year-old Matt Bailey Jr., and 45-year-old Donald “Donnie” Trusty, all of Magoffin County – had previously pleaded guilty to their part in the operation and testified against Back.

On June 5, Back was scheduled for sentencing, however the judge granted his oral motion to continue the hearing. Back indicated he needed more time to review his pre-sentence report with counsel.

Per court orders, Back's attorney filed a joint statement into the record stating that he has had sufficient time with counsel to review the report and another sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 7 at 10 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Pikeville.

A search warrant served at Back’s home on February 29, 2012, by Sheriff Carson Montgomery, UNITE, the DEA and Kentucky State Police resulted in the seizure of a quantity of pills from Florida and other items related to the drug trafficking operation.

Back is no stranger to the legal system.

In 1991 he was sentenced on a manslaughter conviction and in 2004 he was sentenced on solicitation to murder and facilitation of arson charges. Both cases were in Magoffin County.

Back is currently being held at the Pike County Detention Center.