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Press Release

Hayesville, N.C. Man Is Sentenced To More Than 21 Years In Federal Prison For Trafficking Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
In Separate Case, Candler Man Sentenced More than 15 Years for Drug Trafficking

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Bobby Roger Burch, 48, of Hayesville, N.C. today to 262 months in prison, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Judge Reidinger also ordered Burch to serve five years under court supervision upon completion of his prison sentence.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, Burch was part of a drug conspiracy operating in North Carolina and Georgia, that distributed significant quantities of methamphetamine in and around Clay County and elswhere. Court records show that Burch was the North Carolina-based source of supply for the drug ring.  Court records also show that, over the course of the investigation, law enforcement conducted controlled buys and seized significant quantities of methamphetamine from the drug conspiracy.  According to court records, law enforcement seized from Burch more than three pounds of methamphetamine, which Burch was transporting from Georgia to North Carolina.  In addition to the narcotics, law enforcement seized 39 firearms from Burch’s residence, including an assault rifle.  As reflected in court documents, Burch obstructed or attempted to impede the administration of justice by threatening and intimidating some of his co-conspirators whom he suspected were cooperating with law enforcement.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray said, “The arrest and prosecution of Burch and several of his co-conspirators has positively impacted Clay County and the surrounding areas in North Carolina, which have seen a significant drop in criminal activity following the successful dismantling of this multi-state drug trafficking ring. Working with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to identify, investigate, and prosecute drug trafficking organizations that plague our communities with deadly drugs and drug-fueled crimes.”

“The cocktail of deadly chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine are a recipe for disaster. These substances are not only volatile and toxic, but they also destroy families, communities and lives. Because of the collective effort between DEA and its local, state and federal law enforcement counterparts and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this defendant was brought to justice and will spend well-deserved time in prison,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division.

U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the DEA’s Asheville Post of Duty; the Clay County Sheriff’s Office; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the Swain County Sheriff’s Office; the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; the Highlands Police Department; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for handling the investigation. 

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In a separate case, Judge Reidinger also sentenced James Kevin Jones, 45, of Candler, N.C. to 188 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release.  According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, investigators made three controlled buys of methamphetamine from Jones and seized methamphetamine and a loaded firearm from Jones’ residence in Candler during the course of the investigation. 

Court documents show that law enforcement also seized an additional quantity of methamphetamine that Jones concealed on his body while in the Buncombe County Detention Center.  According to court records and statements made in court today, Jones has multiple prior felony convictions, and committed crimes while he was on state probation for those convictions. 

Jones’ investigation was handled by the Buncombe County Anti-Crime Task Force and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. 

Both defendants are in custody, and upon designation of a federal facility they will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted both cases.  

Updated March 24, 2020

Drug Trafficking