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Press Release

Athens Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge yesterday sentenced an Athens man for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced David Matthew Pugh, to 20 years in prison for his role in a drug conspiracy in Morgan, Madison, and Lauderdale counties between January 2017 and July 2017.  In August 2018, Pugh pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Pugh also pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and to possessing multiple firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“Those individuals who engage in drug trafficking belong in federal prison,” Town said.  “This sentence assures the citizens of the Northern District that yet another peddler of this poison has been removed from the community and that criminals who plague our streets with drugs and guns will continue to be targets of federal prosecution.”

“This is yet another example of DEA’s unwavering commitment to keeping drug dealers from selling poison in our communities,” Morris said.  “Drugs and guns are a deadly combination that often end with violent acts.  This sentence should send a resounding message to all drug dealers in Alabama.  We will target you, investigate you, and ensure that you go to prison in order to make our communities safe.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson stated “ATF’s crime gun intelligence partnerships focused on the prohibited individual who used firearms to facilitate violent crimes.”

The DEA and ATF investigated the case, along with the Madison-Morgan County Strategic Counter-Drug Team (STAC), which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Becher, Sr. prosecuted.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

Updated March 10, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses