“Pill Shoppers" And Meth Cooks Sentenced In Federal Court
MOBILE, Ala. – Members of a ring of methamphetamine manufacturers were sentenced in federal court on Friday, January 17, 2014. The group, most of whom are from the Mt. Vernon area, was engaged in activity characterized as “pill shopping,” that is, the practice of buying pseudoephedrine pills for use in the methamphetamine manufacturing process. Court documents establish that members of the group were traveling from Alabama to Georgia, Florida and Texas to buy large quantities of pseudoephedrine and then returned with it to Mobile County, where the manufacturing took place. The “pill shoppers” received cash or small quantities of finished methamphetamine in exchange for their acquisition of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine records established that more than 3.2 kilograms of pseudoephedrine was acquired by members of the conspiracy from 2009 through 2012.
Ray Anthony Lofton, 35, of Mt. Vernon, was characterized by District Court Judge Kristi K. Dubose as the ring leader just before she imposed a sentence of 120 months imprisonment in his case. Lofton was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following the completion of his custody sentence. Jeremy Scott Lofton, 34, of Mt. Vernon, who was identified as one of the defendants actually manufacturing the pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine, was ordered to serve 72 months imprisonment, to be followed by a term of supervised release of five years. Michael Thomas Lofton, 27, of Mt. Vernon, one of the so-called “pill shoppers” and an occasional meth cook, was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised released. Dustin Lee Sullivan, another of the “pill shoppers,” was sentenced to time served, followed by five years of supervised release, which included 10 months in a half-way house. All the defendants were ordered to undergo drug testing and treatment, and each was required to pay a mandatory special assessment of $200. Each defendant entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and conspiracy to possess a List I chemical (pseudoephedrine) with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe it would be used to manufacture a controlled substance.
The case was investigated by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was prosecuted in the United States Attorney=s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Gloria Bedwell.