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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Final Member Of Large Scale Multi-state Oxycontin, Cocaine And Lortab Distribution Organization Sentenced

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- The final member of the April Hutson drug trafficking organization was sentenced yesterday the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

Chuck Allen Hensley, 35, Bluff City, Tennessee, was sentenced to 144 months imprisonment for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy composed of 38 individuals from Virginia, Tennessee, and Michigan. Hensley had previously been convicted of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and Lortabs following a jury trial in May 2010. The defendant was the last member of the conspiracy to be sentenced.

“This case serves as the benchmark for what cooperative law enforcement should look like,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Local, State and Federal law enforcement officials worked together to build a case that ultimately took 38 drug dealers off the streets of Virginia, Tennessee and Michigan. These communities are safer now because of this multi-jurisdictional effort.”

Thirty-five defendants pleaded guilty to charges related to the drug trafficking conspiracy and three defendants were convicted of drug conspiracy charges following a jury trial in May 2010. As a result of this investigation and prosecution, 38 defendants were sentenced to a total of 3,182 months imprisonment with an average sentence of more than six years imprisonment. Additionally, one kilogram of cocaine, 3,000 OxyContin 80 mg pills, 1,333 Lortabs, and multiple firearms were seized by law enforcement. Furthermore, as a result of the investigation, two homes, more than $100,000.00 in United States currency, numerous automobiles, and significant personal property were seized by law enforcement as proceeds of the drug trafficking organization.

According to evidence presented during yesterday’s hearing and other hearings, April Shannon Hutson and her organization were responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine, OxyContin, and Lortab in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. An investigation by law enforcement determined that since approximately 2003, Hutson recruited numerous individuals in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, including many family members, to assist in the selling of cocaine and OxyContin in Bristol, VA, Bristol, TN, and Blountville, TN. Additionally, law enforcement was able to identify and apprehend Hutson’s OxyContin supplier, David “Kingpin” Martin, and his distribution organization based in Romulus, Michigan.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Internal Revenue Service, United States Marshals Service, Bristol, Tennessee Police Department, Bristol, Virginia Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Department, Virginia State Police, and the 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force. The investigation was assisted by the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee of the United States Attorney’s Office in Abingdon prosecuted the case.

Updated April 15, 2015