Skip to main content
Press Release

Last of 20 Defendants Pleads Guilty in Vast Methamphetamine Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – The final defendant in a 20-member conspiracy that distributed multiple kilograms of methamphetamine throughout Southwest Virginia pled guilty this week in federal court.

Eric Dale Whisman, 32, of Bristol, Virginia, pled guilty earlier this week to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a methamphetamine mixture.

Others who have previously pleaded guilty as part of the conspiracy included individuals from Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia: Christopher David Johnson (aka “CJ”), Noah Bryan Horn, Nicholas Alexander Courtney, Michael Paul Brown, Jeremy Wayne Maxfield, Kenneth Lee Trivette, Olivia Abigail Coleman, Kayla Cheyanne Winebarger, Sheenah Amber Rogers, Joey Dean Webb, Diamond Snow Booher, Amber Leigh Phipps, Morgan Paige Perry, Kedrick Lee Dingus, Christopher Michael Sullivan, Woodrow America Ritchie, Ashley Lynn Young, Patricia Ann Smoot, and Tabitha Nichole Satterfield.

During the conspiracy, Christopher “CJ” Johnson was incarcerated in the state of Georgia and used a contraband cell phone to coordinate his multi-state drug trafficking scheme. Co-conspirators would travel to Georgia to collect large amounts of methamphetamine from Johnson’s designated sources, send payments to him via CashApp and other means, and then bring the drugs back to Southwest Virginia for further distribution.

At one point, Johnson was responsible for a large percentage of the overall methamphetamine market in both the Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee areas.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, and Jared Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Division, made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Virginia State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Bristol (Virginia) Police Department, and numerous other law enforcement agencies in Georgia and Tennessee investigated the case, including Tennessee’s Bristol Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force as well as the Georgia State Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey Hall and Whit Pierce are prosecuting the case.

Updated June 28, 2024

Drug Trafficking