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Press Release

Pair Sentenced for Roles in Lee County Heroin Conspiracy

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

ABINGDON, Va. – A pair of out-of-state men, one from Tennessee and another from Michigan, who conspired with others to traffic heroin into Lee County, Virginia, were sentenced yesterday in federal court.

David Edward Farmer, 57, of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Farmer was sentenced to yesterday to eight years in federal prison.

Robert Lee Jenkins, 26, of Detroit, Michigan, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin. Jenkins was sentenced yesterday to 12 months and one day in prison.

According to court documents, beginning in September 2021, Jenkins, Farmer, and others, including John Joel Foster, Ray Anthony McSwain, Garrett Lee Teffeteller, Darin Thomas, and Robert Warr, conspired to sell heroin in and around Lee County, Virginia.

During the relevant time periods, Farmer sold heroin to co-conspirator Darin Thomas and others, some of which was then resold.  Farmer also was widely known to trade heroin in exchange for firearms.

Jenkins often drove his co-conspirator and half-brother, Robert Warr, around the Knoxville, Tennessee area to distribute heroin to other members of the conspiracy. Although Warr handled most of the supplying of the drugs, Jenkins was aware he was driving Warr around for the purpose of trafficking heroin. In addition, Jenkins handled money from the drug transactions and, at one point, rented a hotel room for Warr and other co-conspirators in order to sell their heroin.  

Warr pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this year.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai of the Washington Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Virginia State Police, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher prosecuted the case.

Updated November 29, 2023

Drug Trafficking