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Press Release

Georgia Supplier Of Methamphetamine In Western North Carolina Is Sentenced To More Than 21 Years

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

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Richard Arlee Champion, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia, to 262 months in prison, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Judge Reidinger also ordered Champion to serve 10 years under court supervision after he is released from prison.   

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, Champion and his codefendant, Marissa Jade Burt, 34, of Whittier, N.C. were involved in a drug conspiracy that trafficked large amounts of methamphetamine to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Jackson and Swain Counties.  Court records show that Champion was the main source of supply for Burt and his other for codefendants: Jordan Heath Oocumma, 31, of Cherokee, N.C., John Allen Wise, 39, of Franklin, N.C., Jillian Monike Swimmer, 31, of Cherokee, and Anthony Michael Dealto, 32, of Bryson City, N.C.  According to court records, Burt travelled regularly to Atlanta to pick up the methamphetamine, which she then distributed to her co-conspirators.  A federal jury convicted Champion in January 2018 of conspiracy to distribute and aiding and abetting to possess with intent to distribute.

In sentencing Champion, Judge Reidinger said being a supplier of methamphetamine comes with heavy penalties. 

U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Indians Affairs (BIA), the Cherokee-Indian Police Department, the Swain County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess prosecuted the case. 

Updated April 27, 2018