Ponce to serve 108 months for drugs

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Local man pleads guilty to federal charge.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter


ROANOKE — A 39-year-old Galax man who pleaded guilty to a federal charge of distribution of methamphetamine received his sentence Monday.
Rudolfo Nunez Ponce was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison, the minimum sentence allowed, according to court officials. He also will pay a $500 fine and serve four years of supervised release after his prison sentence.
Ponce faced four charges issued by a federal grand jury in February, but three were dismissed as per his plea agreement, including distribution of meth and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
In May, Ponce appeared before Judge Glen Conrad in U.S. District Court in Roanoke to plea guilty to one count of possessing more than 50 grams of meth with the intent to distribute.
The maximum penalty for that crime under federal guidelines was a fine of up to $5 million and a prison term of up to 40 years.
Sentencing for Ponce was based on distribution of a meth mixture of more than 500 grams but less than 1,500 grams.
Ponce has agreed to forfeit his weapons and ammunition to the federal government as part of his guilty plea. The weapons include a Star Firestar Plus 9mm pistol, two Marlin Model 60 .22 caliber rifle, a Smith & Wesson Model 19-5 .357 caliber revolver, a Taurus Model 945 .45 caliber pistol and a .25 caliber pistol.