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Press Release

Asheville Methamphetamine Trafficker And Pill Distributor Is Sentenced To Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – An Asheville methamphetamine trafficker and pill distributor was sentenced to 151 months in prison today, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. John Paul Roberts, 40, was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger imposed today’s sentence.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and today’s hearing, in January 2020, an investigation began into Roberts’ drug distribution activities, after law enforcement determined that Roberts and an associate were mailing pills containing methamphetamine via the U.S. Mail to customers throughout the United States. The investigation eventually revealed that Roberts and his associate used the Dark Web to obtain the methamphetamine. Roberts then mixed the methamphetamine with other ingredients and used pill presses to manufacture thousands of pills, which he and his associate falsely marketed and sold on the Dark Web as Adderall®. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement documented that Roberts and his associate manufactured and sold thousands of pills containing methamphetamine and mailed pills to customers in 19 states. Court records show that Roberts and his associate also sold methamphetamine in wholesale quantities to local drug traffickers, with a combined street value of more than $1 million. 

On December 5, 2022, Roberts pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked HSI and USPIS for their investigation of this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.      

Updated April 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking