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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12 , 2007
Contact: Jerome Sampson
Special Agent/PIO
Number: 202-305-2626

Seven College Students In VA Arrested On Drug Distribution Charges

APR 12 -- (RICHMOND, VA) - Seven students at Hampden-Sydney College in Prince Edward County, Virginia were arrested today on federal charges following a joint local, state, and federal narcotics distribution investigation. Additional students were also arrested on state charges. Shawn Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Chuck Rosenberg, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement following the initial appearance of the seven of the students in United States District Court.

The arrests were made by agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Farmville Police Department, Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. The federal charges include distribution of cocaine and/or marijuana on school property for offenses that are alleged to have occurred in the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters.

Those arrested on federal charges:

James Ponton, II Newport News, VA Age 22
Chance Moore Orange, VA Age 23
Wesley Howell Hampton, VA Age 20
Murray Webb Fayetteville, GA Age 21
Thomas Putnam Birmingham, AL Age 19
Jeffrey Roberts Roanoke, VA Age 19
Troiani Meyers Irvington, VA Age 20

Ponton is charged with three counts of Distribution of Cocaine Powder and faces a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Webb is charged with one count of Distribution of Cocaine Powder and faces a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Moore is charged with three counts of Distribution of Cocaine Powder and faces a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Howell and Putnam are charged with one count each of Distribution of Marijuana and face a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of ten years in prison. Roberts is charged with two counts of Distribution of Cocaine Powder and faces a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Finally, Meyers is charged with three counts of Distribution of Marijuana and faces a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of ten years in prison.

This case was investigated by agents of the DEA, Farmville Police Department, and Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. The Hampden-Sydney College administration and Department of Security and Police cooperated fully and provided assistance during today’s arrests. The federal charges are being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Matthew C. Ackley, an Assistant to the Attorney General of Virginia.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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