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ROANOKE — The first defendant to be sentenced, among several Twin County residents caught in a federal drug sting, has received 15 years in prison.
Michael Samuel Sawyers of Galax was the first of five locals to be sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine.
Sawyers appeared before Judge James Turk in the U.S. District Court Monday after entering a guilty plea to the conspiracy charge.
Federal prosecutor Andrew Bassford and defense attorney Randy Cargill made a joint motion for a recommended sentence of 15 years, according to federal court records. Turk granted the motion.
Sawyers will also be subject to five years of supervised release after he gets out of federal prison.
The court recommended a federal facility in Beckley, WVa., or one in Butner, N.C. The judge also said that Sawyers should "participate in the intensive drug treatment program."
One count of distribution of meth against Sawyers was dismissed. The fine, cost of incarceration and cost of supervised release were all waived by the court.
After he is released, Sawyers is prohibited from owning firearms and ammunition and he will "submit to warrantless search and seizure of person and property," according to court papers.
The conspiracy charge carried with it a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.
Sawyer's fellow defendants — Kenneth Joe Kennedy and Stephanie Nicole Bean Davis of Galax and Benjamin Lee Hancock and Bobby Wayne Thompson Sr. of Hillsville — await their sentencing hearings.