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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Final Five Defendants in Methamphetamine Conspiracy Sentenced

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – The final five defendants convicted as part of a group that trafficked crystal methamphetamine into Southwest Virginia from sources in Tennessee and Kentucky were sentenced this week in federal court in Abingdon. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring made the announcement.

“Crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug,” U.S. Attorney Cullen said today.  “Disrupting and reducing the flow of this deadly substance into the Commonwealth will make our communities safer.”  

“My office has worked hard to collaborate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and federal, state, and local law enforcement to crack down on those who transport dangerous drugs into Southwest Virginia for distribution,” Virginia Attorney General Herring said today.  “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners and will continue to aggressively prosecute those who endanger the lives of our citizens.” 

Rick Jeremy Sturgill, 41, of Jonesville, Va., was sentenced today to 228 months’ imprisonment. Sturgill previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession with the intent to distribute and distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing or using a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Tony Lynn Ketron, 28, of Church Hill, Tn., was also sentenced today to 228 months’ imprisonment.  Ketron previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, two counts of distributing methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

On Wednesday, Jason Dale Moore, 36, of Jonesville, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Earlier this week, William Benjamin Brewer, 36, of Jonesville, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Kristina Burton, 44, of Jonesville, was sentenced to 37 months in prison. Moore, Brewer, and Burton each previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine. 

Earlier this month, two other members of the conspiracy were sentenced for their roles in the enterprise. Todd Conyer was sentenced to 60 months and Leslie Ann Clasby was sentenced to 84 months.

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen and Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute crystal ice methamphetamine from April 1, 2016, through November 7, 2016.  Court documents demonstrated that the conspiracy involved over 50 grams of crystal ice methamphetamine, acquired from multiple sources in Tennessee and Kentucky, and several firearms. Numerous undercover purchases of crystal ice were conducted by the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force at Sturgill’s residence in Jonesville, Virginia, where much of the activity concerning the conspiracy occurred. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, the Jonesville Police Department, and the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States against Leslie Ann Clasby.  Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, a Virginia Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, prosecuted the case for the United States against all other defendants. 

Updated April 26, 2018