N.C. man sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison for trafficking drugs to N.C., Va.

Grandy Nester, 33, of Pilot Mountain, N.C. was sentenced to nearly 25 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

ABINGDON, Va. (WSET) -- A North Carolina man has been sentenced to 295 months in prison for his involvements in Operation Rolling Thunder, an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and local law enforcement in Virginia and North Carolina.

Grandy Nester, 33, of Pilot Mountain, N.C. was sentenced to nearly 25 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

The collaborative investigations has resulted in 22 guilty pleas related to the distribution of methamphetamine and firearms possession in Southwest Virginia and North Carolina.

"Operation Rolling Thunder has made the communities of Southwest Virginia safer by taking large amounts of methamphetamine off the streets and getting firearms out of the hands of drug dealers," United States Attorney Cullen stated. "I am grateful for the leadership of ATF on this important initiative, as well as the critical support of our state and local law-enforcement partners."

According to evidence presented at numerous hearings, Nester was a member of a drug trafficking organization responsible for the transportation of large quantities of meth from Greensboro to Virginia.

Additionally, prosecutors proved that many of the members of the organization possessed and used firearms to further their drug trafficking activities.

Nester was arrested in June 2017.

The following people have been sentenced:

  • Amy Hoyt, 46, of Mt. Airy, N.C., was sentenced to 228 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking.
  • Amber Bilyeu, 32, of Mt. Airy, N.C., was sentenced to 252 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Karen Hawks, 45, of Low Gap, N.C., was sentenced to 262 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Walter “Butch” Sexton, 64, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Brittany Cochran, 28, of Fries, Va., was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Timothy Bowman, 46, of Cana, Va., was sentenced to 300 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
  • Annette Freeman, 32, of Cana, Va., was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Brad Hunley, 29, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 134 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Shawanna Phipps, 37, of Independence, Va., was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Brian Graff, 33, of Independence, Va., was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Riley Alley, 26, of Cana, Va., was sentenced to 52 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Calvin Jermaine Maxwell, 34, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • David Norman, 29, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Jonathan Choate, 34, of Independence, Va., was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Kevin Humphries, 38, of Cana, Va., was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Jackie Christopher Parson, 39, of Mouth of Wilson, Va., was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Jessilyn Jones, 26, of Independence, Va., was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Vickie Grose, 48, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Stacey Jerome Sawyers, 30, of Galax, Va., was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Travis Brian Anders, 35, of Sugar Grove, Va., was sentenced to 158 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Surry County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Galax Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, United States Marshals Service, United States Secret Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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