News and Press Releases

Portsmouth Men Sentenced for Importing Methylone

October 26, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. – Alex Lee McElhaney,18, and Michael Casey Brown,24, both of Portsmouth, Va., were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to import methylone, an analogue of MDMA.  McElhaney was sentenced to a total of 84 months in prison, 24 months for conspiracy to import a controlled substance and 60 months for carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Brown was sentenced to 121 months in prison for conspiracy to import a controlled substance.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.

McElhaney previously pled guilty to the charges on June 19, 2012.  Brown pled guilty on June 22, 2012.  According to court documents, McElhaney and Brown, along with Archie Lee McClennan were arrested on February 2, 2012.  The execution of two search warrants resulted in the seizure of one kilogram of methylone, psilocybin, quantities of four other synthetic drugs and 16 firearms.  Brown had been ordering methylone online from a laboratory in China since July 21, 2011.  Between July 21, 2011 and February 2, 2012, he imported a total of 14.7 kilograms of methylone into the United States with the assistance of McElhaney and McElhaney’s grandfather, Archie Lee McClennan.  Brown arranged the delivery of methylone to McClennan’s residence on multiple occasions and was paid $2,000 per package.  McElhaney and his grandfather distributed the methylone in Portsmouth while armed with handguns.

McClennan was sentenced on October 18, 2012, to 211 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy and for carrying and possessing firearms during and in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

            This case was investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations and the Portsmouth Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Darryl Mitchell prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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