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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Former Pennington Gap Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Lortabs

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- - United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy announced today that John Charles Kelly entered a guilty of plea in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to a charge involving the distribution of hydrocodone.

John Charles Kelly, 39, of Pennington Gap, Va., entered a plea of guilty to one count of distribution of hydrocodone.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee, Kelly, an officer with the Pennington Gap, Virginia Police Department, was socializing with two females at his residence in July 2012 and distributed approximately twenty Lortab pills to the two females.

Sentencing has been set for May 31, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon. Kelly faces a potential maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $500,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Virginia State Police, Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015