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Florence Iron Horsemen Leader Imprisoned For 35 Years

Posted On December 15, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

Matthew Wesley Shaffer. Photo by Kenton County Jail.

(Florence, Ky.) – The leader of the Florence chapter of the Iron Horsemen motorcycle club has been sent to prison.

Matthew Wesley Shaffer, of Walton, was convicted by a jury in federal court in Covington last August on charges including Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking.

On Thursday, the 39-year-old Shaffer was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Kentucky says it was learned at trial that Shaffer not only headed up the Florence club of the Iron Horsemen. He was also a national enforcer for the organization.

Shaffer directed a group that was transporting large amounts of crystal meth from California to northern Kentucky in 2015 and 2016. The drug would then be distributed here.

In August of 2016, Shaffer possessed more than 180 grams, or about 0.4 pounds, of meth at his home in Walton. Two loaded firearms, body armor, and $8,920 in currency was also discovered in the home.

Federal investigators developed additional evidence that Shaffer led an effort to smuggle about 10 grams of crystal meth into the Boone County Detention Center for distribution in October of 2016.

“This investigation and prosecution highlights the importance of a strong partnership between local, state, and federal law enforcement in reducing violent crime and drug trafficking activities,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Our communities are made safer through the cooperative efforts of law enforcement, and I commend the officers and agents for their hard work and dedication on this case and others like it.”

He must serve at least 85 percent of his 35-year sentence before he is released on probation for 10 years.

United States Attorney Duncan; Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration; and Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the ATF, and the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Tony Bracke.