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Meth ring gets combined 89 years in prison

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Seven defendants pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

By Staff Reports

ROANOKE — Six Twin County residents and a Wytheville man snared in a methamphetamine investigation have all pleaded guilty and will spend a combined 89 years in federal prisons, according to court records.
A traffic stop on Arturo Velejan Hernandez of Independence by Grayson Deputy Alan Graham near Fries last year led to a search of the vehicle and the discovery of two ounces of meth.
A combined operation by the Twin County and Claytor Lake drug task forces and Drug Enforcement Administration agents led to four federal indictments being issued in the case.
An indictment issued in May 2011 for conspiracy with intent to distribute more than 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing meth, a schedule II narcotic, named Hernandez, as well as:
• William Cody Rutherford of Fries
• Anthony Franklin Smallwood of Elk Creek
• Michael Lee Moss of Galax
• Daniel Lee Lawson of Galax
• Roy Keith Carico of Fries
• and Sean Jenson Elledge of Wytheville.
Three additional indictments accused Hernandez, Smallwood and Lawson with one count each of possession of meth with intent to distribute.
The case recently wrapped up with Moss’s sentencing in early March.
Of all the accused, Hernandez received the most prison time at 292 months at the Butner, N.C., facility, according to court records.
Lawson received 235 months to serve at either the Butner or the McDowell facility.
Carico will spend 151 months in either the Butner or Beckley, W.Va., federal prison.
Rutherford will serve 126 months either at Beckley or Butner.
Smallwood got 120 months to serve at Butner.
Moss has 84 months to serve at Butner or some other facility as close as possible to his home, while Elledge has 63 months to serve, for a combined total of 1,071 months among all the defendants.
All those convicted are to receive drug rehab and treatment while in prison or at least be evaluated for treatment.
Most of the men will be on five years of supervised release after they get out of prison, except for Elledge and Moss, who will have four years each.