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Press Release

Ice Methamphetamine Prosecution Sends 23 Individuals to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Area Drug Traffickers Were Supplied High-Quality Methamphetamine from Arizona and California

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – The investigation into a major ice methamphetamine conspiracy that distributed large amounts of the drug into southwest Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and elsewhere concluded last week with the sentencing of the final defendant, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.

Antonio Hernandez Mohedano, of Barstow, California, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Last week in District Court, Mohedano was sentenced to 210 months of federal incarceration. 

“These individuals brought numerous pounds of a very pure form of methamphetamine into our area from western states—methamphetamine most likely made in Mexico.  They imported this poison into our communities simply to make a profit, without any regard for the devastating damage it causes to those addicted to this drug and the broader community,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today.  “These major drug investigations take significant time and resources, and the law enforcement agencies that participated in dismantling this conspiracy should be commended for their important work.”

Mohedano is the last of 24 defendants convicted as a result of a long-running investigative operation headed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  The operation dismantled a methamphetamine distribution network that brought numerous pounds of “ice” methamphetamine—a particularly pure form of that drug—into the area between approximately 2011 and 2014.  Most of this ice methamphetamine was brought into southwest Virginia and elsewhere from sources of supply in Arizona or California.   The ice methamphetamine was transported to the area in a variety of ways, including by being hidden in live animals and transported over interstate highways, and via common carriers, like UPS.  Return payment to the sources of supply out west occurred through hand-to-hand cash payments and various types of electronic money transactions, including “Green Dot” prepaid cards.   

The District Court sentenced 23 defendants in this case to a term of imprisonment.  In addition, the District Court ordered various defendants in the case to forfeit money and property, including real property used in the crime, firearms, and ammunition.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Bristol, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, the Abingdon Police Department, the Bristol, Virginia Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin L. Jayne prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 11, 2016

Drug Trafficking