News

Bristol Residents Sentenced to Prison for
Drug Conspiracy and Gun Charges

Christopher Landon Avery Sentenced to 25 years Imprisonment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 26, 2013

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA-- United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy announced today that six members of a crack cocaine distribution conspiracy have been sentenced in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

Christopher Landon Avery, 29, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced late last week to 25 years in prison following his earlier pleas of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Other members of the conspiracy have previously been sentenced to terms of imprisonment:

Damon Dock a/k/a “Corky” 39, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced to 11 years in prison following a jury trial in which he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.

Damon Dock, 20, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced to 20 years in prison following a jury trial in which he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.

Maggie Welch a/k/a Maggie Graybeal, 27, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced to 30 months in prison following her plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Hope Leonard, 32, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced to three years in prison following her earlier plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.

Chris Berry, 25, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced to five years in prison following his earlier plea of guilty to one count of possession of stolen firearms and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee, Chris Avery, a five-time convicted drug trafficker, supplied Welch, Dock, Dock, and Leonard with large quantities of crack cocaine which they then distributed in Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee. Berry used stolen items, including firearms, taken from burglaries in Washington County and Russell County and traded the items to Damon Dock for quantities of cocaine base.

On May 20, 2011, Dock, Dock, Leonard and Berry were arrested in Bristol, Tennessee in a motel room in the possession of crack cocaine and a firearm. On June 7, 2011, Avery and Welch were arrested in Johnson City, Tennessee and found to be in possession of an ounce of crack cocaine, $951 in United States currency, and a 9mm handgun. Additionally, Avery was involved in a shooting that occurred on Pace Drive in Bristol, Virginia, on April 7, 2011, following an altercation with Welch’s ex-husband. Avery threatened Welch’s ex-husband with a 9mm handgun and fired three shots at him.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Bristol, Virginia Police Department, Bristol, Tennessee Police Department, Johnson City, Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. The Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee assisted in the prosecution of this matter. Assistant United States Attorney’s Zachary T. Lee of the United States Attorney’s Office in Abingdon is prosecuting the case.

 

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