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Press Release

Major Methamphetamine Prosecution Sends Dozens to Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
More than 40 Individuals Convicted for Distributing Methamphetamine

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA – The investigation into a major methamphetamine conspiracy that distributed large amounts of the drug unto Wythe County, Carroll County, Pulaski County, Grayson County, the City of Galax and part of North Carolina, concluded this week with the sentencing of the final, non-fugitive defendant, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.

Joseph Gentry, 34, of Low Gap, North Carolina, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. This week in District Court, Gentry was sentenced to 121 months of federal incarceration.  

“These individuals brought thousands of pounds of methamphetamine into the Western District of Virginia from the West Coast and Mexico. They imported this poison into our communities and profited off the addiction of others,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “It is a testament to the cooperation and professionalism of the law enforcement agencies that devoted the time and resources necessary to take down this conspiracy.”

Gentry is the last of more than 40 defendants convicted as a result of a long-running investigative operation conducted by the Virginia State Police, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, the Galax Police Department, the Carroll County Sherriff’s Office, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The operation dismantled a methamphetamine distribution network that brought more than 1,800 pounds of methamphetamine into the area between 2010 and 2015. Most of this methamphetamine was brought to Western Virginia from California or Mexico.  

Three defendants, Erika Ortiz, Olivia Moreno and Bianca Aroche, have been charged as being part of the conspiracy but are currently fugitives.

The investigation of the case was conducted the Virginia State Police, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, the Galax Police Department, the Carroll County Sherriff’s Office, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Ashley B. Neese prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated March 4, 2016

Topic
Drug Trafficking