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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Four More Conspirators Sentenced as Part of Methamphetamine Takedown

To date, 14 of the 15 Charged in the Conspiracy have been Sentenced

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – Four more defendants who were part of a conspiracy that trafficked methamphetamine into and around Virginia and Kentucky were sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced. To date, 14 of the 15 defendants charged with being part of the conspiracy have been convicted and sentenced to federal prison terms for the role in the criminal activity.

 

Julio Cesar Ortiz, 28, of Norcross, Ga., previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine. Today in District Court, Ortiz was sentenced to 148 months in federal prison.

 

Lloyd Steven Knuckles, 42, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine. Today in District Court, Knuckles was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison.

 

Ralph Marlow, 59, of Lafollette, Tenn., previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Today in District Court, Marlow was sentenced to 123 months in federal prison.

 

Robert Christopher Rainey, 62, of Sycamore, Ga., previously pled guilty to one of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Today in District Court, Rainey was sentenced to 156 months in federal prison.

 

“This prosecution dismantled a major methamphetamine operation and made our community safer,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “I am thankful for the hard work our partners in law enforcement put in to making this righteous case.”

 

To date, 14 of the 15 individuals charged with being part of the conspiracy have been convicted and sentenced to federal prison time.

 

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bell County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesboro, Kentucky Police Department, the Lee County Virginia Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bristol and Atlanta Field Divisions. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee prosecuted the case for the United States.

 

Updated January 5, 2017