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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 29, 2018

Seven Defendants Plead Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – Seven individuals who conspired to distribute crystal methamphetamine in Southwest Virginia from sources in Tennessee and Kentucky have pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearms charges in the United States District Court in Abingdon, United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle and Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced.

 

Jeremy Rick Sturgill, 41, of Jonesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty January 24, 2018, to conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine; maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and using methamphetamine; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Tony Lynn Ketron, 27, of Church Hill, Tennessee, pleaded guilty January 24, 2018, to conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, two counts of distributing methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and possessing a firearm while being a prohibited person. 

 

In addition, a number of co-conspirators have previously pleaded guilty as part of the case. Todd Houston Conyer, 29, of Pennington Gap, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine.  Leslie Ann Clasby, 42, of Jonesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine.  Jason Dale Moore, 36, of Jonesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine. William Benjamin Brewer, 36, of Jonesville, Virginia, pleaded to conspiring to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine. Kristina Karen Burton, 44, of Jonesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine. 

 

According to evidence presented at various plea hearings by Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, and in court documents, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute crystal ice methamphetamine from April 1, 2016 - November 7, 2016.  Evidence presented during the guilty plea hearings demonstrated that the conspiracy involved over 50 grams of crystal ice methamphetamine, acquired from multiple sources in Tennessee and Kentucky, and several firearms.  Numerous undercover purchases of crystal ice were conducted by the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force at Sturgill’s residence in Jonesville, Virginia, where much of the activity concerning the conspiracy occurred. 

 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, the Jonesville Police Department, and the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States involving Leslie Ann Clasby.  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 involving all other defendants. 

Updated January 29, 2018