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Press Release

Five Plead Guilty to Drug Charges in Relation to Operation Leaving Las Vegas

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Operation has Charged More than 32 with Various Drug Charges

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – Five individuals associated with a larger conspiracy charged with distributing methamphetamine and oxycodone in Southwest Virginia, Las Vegas, Eastern Kentucky and elsewhere, pled guilty today to Federal drug charges in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.

Today in District Court, Justin Michael Lowe, 24, Brandon Cody Trivett, 23, Lamar Allen Skipper, 27, Tanner Morris Curd, 23 and Gary Brandon Childress, 25, each pled guilty to a one count Information charging each with one count of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and/or oxycodone. In addition, Skipper pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.

The charges were brought as part of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and others. Thirty-two individuals were indicted and arrested last month as part of that investigation.

“These five individuals were part of a larger drug conspiracy that brought methamphetamine, and other dangerous drugs into Virginia,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “These drugs ruin lives and communities and we will continue to be vigilant in taking down large scale conspiracies like this one.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, in 2014 law enforcement targeted a drug trafficking organization responsible for the transportation and distribution of crystal methamphetamine between Law Vegas and Abingdon, Virginia. The Investigation revealed that members of the organization were sending crystal methamphetamine and oxycodone via FedEx and the United States Parcel Service from Las Vegas to many people in Abingdon and Eastern Kentucky. Investigators were able to determine the identity not only of the local distributors of the crystal methamphetamine, but also the suppliers located in Las Vegas.

The investigation has found that at least $1,000,000 in drug proceeds were generated by this drug trafficking conspiracy. These proceeds were routinely transferred from Abingdon to Las Vegas utilizing bank accounts in the names of drug suppliers located in Law Vegas. Funds were also transferred between Abingdon and Las Vegas using Western Union and Moneygram services.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, United States Marshals Service, Virginia State Police, Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, Abingdon Police Department, Marion Police Department, and Smyth County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee will prosecute the case for the United States.


Updated December 5, 2016

Drug Trafficking