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Press Release

Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Controlled Substance

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Maryland man pleaded guilty today to possessing suboxone, a Schedule III controlled substance, while in federal prison.

According to court documents, James Pixley, 29, of Leonardtown, was in the visiting area of the Petersburg Federal Correctional Institution in July 2018 when he received 35 12mg suboxone strips from a visitor. Suboxone is a controlled substance that is available only by prescription. Prison officials recovered the suboxone from Pixley immediately after the visit. 

Pixley pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited object by a federal inmate and faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison when sentenced on April 9. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and John I. Dixon III, Chief of Petersburg Police, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Mastandrea-Miller is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-011.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated March 12, 2019

Drug Trafficking