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Press Release

Leader of Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

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

ABINGDON, Va. – A North Carolina man, who previously resided in Wise County, Virginia when he organized a conspiracy to traffic multiple pounds of methamphetamine into Southwest Virginia, was sentenced today to 35 years in federal prison.

Daniel Eugene Rowland, 46, of Andrews, North Carolina was convicted on eight counts, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

“This defendant, and the other conspirators, trafficked multiple pounds of methamphetamine into Virginia, preying on the addiction of others for their own financial benefit,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “Today’s sentence should serve as an example that here in the Western District of Virginia we take drug trafficking seriously and will pursue justice appropriately.”

“There is no place in our communities for this type of criminal activity. We will continue to work cohesively with the United States Attorney’s Office and with our law enforcement partners to disrupt the illegal possession of firearms, distribution of narcotics and other acts of violence to make our communities safer,” ATF Washington Field Division Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson said.

Between July 2019 and December 2020, Rowland structured a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine from Atlanta into Southwest Virginia for redistribution by organizing co-defendants Jon Rollins, Jessica Robey, Austin Hammond, and others, to pool their money together in order to purchase large quantities of methamphetamine from co-defendants Eric Glass and Shane Cress.

On several occasions, Rowland traveled to Atlanta where he made multi-kilogram purchases of methamphetamine from Glass and Cress, paying $12,000 to $14,000 per kilogram for the drugs.

When he was arrested in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Rowland was in possession of nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine, $32,500 in cash, digital scales, a loaded 9mm pistol, and additional ammunition.

Co-conspirators  Justin Shane Cress and Cory Austin Hammond were each previously sentenced to 135 months incarceration for their roles in the conspiracy.  In addition, Eric Matthew Glass was sentenced to 168 months in prison, Jessica Ann Robey was sentenced to 120 months, and Jonathan Adam Rollins was sentenced to 228 months.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, the Holston River Regional Drug Task Force, and the Virginia State Police investigated the case, with assistance from the United States Marshal’s Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated January 27, 2022