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Press Release

Four More Individuals Sentenced In Large a-PVP Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Between Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, 2015, four more individuals involved in an extensive a-PVP (alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone) distribution conspiracy centered in northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia and western North Carolina, were sentenced to serve time in federal prison by the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Court Judge.

Melissa Carol Williams, 39, of Greeneville, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 115 months; Jason Kyle Dulworth, 35, of Greeneville, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 46 months; Jonathon Rae Watson, 32, of Concord, N.C., was sentenced to serve 80 months; and, Richard Carmen Ware, 72, of Hendersonville, N.C., was sentenced to serve 60 months. Twelve others who were previously sentenced in this conspiracy received prison sentences ranging from 110 to 235 months.

According to the plea agreements on file with the U.S. District Court Clerk, the combined aggregate total of a-PVP stipulated to by Williams, Dulworth, Watson and Ware was approximately 19,275 grams.

A-PVP is a synthetic drug, primarily ordered from China, which is commonly referred to on the street as “gravel” or “flakka.”  Common effects on users include: extreme paranoia; hallucinations; elevated blood pressure; extremely high body temperature; excited delirium; staying awake for days; hostility and having exceptional strength without apparent fatigue.  These  characteristics of the drug make it very dangerous for both the user and law enforcement responding to people who are using the drug.  Users of a-PVP have referred to the substance as “meth on steroids.”

Law enforcement agencies participating in this investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security Investigations, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson City Police Department, Greeneville, Tennessee Police Department, Hendersonville, North Carolina Police Department, and the Scott County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, all of which provided invaluable assistance during the course of the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.


Updated November 10, 2015

Drug Trafficking