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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Marion Woman Sentenced on Methamphetamine Charges

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Southwest Virginia resident, who previously pled guilty to charges related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine, was sentenced on September 30, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia at Abingdon, Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. and Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced.

Shana Ariz Castillo, 32, of Marion, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of creating a substantial risk of harm to human life while illegally manufacturing or attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, and one count of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture methamphetamine where a minor resided or was present.  Castillo was sentenced last week in District Court to serve 108 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Restitution of $834 was also imposed for the cleanup of the hazardous materials from a methamphetamine laboratory found at Castillo’s apartment.

Castillo pled guilty to conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine over a nine-month period, from August 9, 2014, through on or about May 27, 2015.  Approximately 68 grams of methamphetamine were involved in this conspiracy.  Evidence presented during the sentencing hearing included photographs of Castillo’s apartment, where a search warrant was executed on May 27, 2015.  The search warrant revealed evidence of a recent methamphetamine laboratory, which included dangerous equipment and chemicals, methamphetamine, and multiple drug paraphernalia items, such as smoking devices and a used syringe.  The methamphetamine laboratory equipment and materials were located in close proximity to Castillo’s two-year old child’s bedroom.  Actual methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and other dangerous items were located on top of the child’s toy table, just outside the child’s bedroom.  Castillo’s child was present when the search warrant was executed.       

“Manufacturing methamphetamine is a danger to the public, particularly where it is manufactured in a residence where a minor is present or resides.  We take these cases very seriously and will work hard to prosecute those who endanger the public and minors, as today’s sentence shows,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “This case is an unfortunate reminder of how addictive methamphetamine is and the lengths that drug dealers will go to manufacture this drug, even manufacturing where a two-year old child resides.  Exposing a young child to methamphetamine and the dangerous chemicals used during the manufacturing process is incomprehensive and repugnant.  We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to slow the spread of this deadly drug throughout Virginia and aggressively prosecute these cases.”

Attorney General Mark Herring added his appreciation to the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation and echoed the need to aggressively prosecute those who manufacture methamphetamine.  “Manufacturing methamphetamine is inherently dangerous and presents a serious risk of harm to the community.  These are very serious cases and must be handled accordingly, particularly when a minor child is exposed to this very dangerous drug and the manufacturing process.  As public safety is our highest priority, we will continue to investigate these offenses alongside our law enforcement partners and work to keep this dangerous drug out of our communities,” stated Attorney General Mark Herring. 

Agencies involved in this investigation included the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Abingdon Police Department, Bristol Virginia Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, a Virginia Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, prosecuted the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 4, 2016