ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

June 16, 2010

Anne M. Tompkins, United States Attorney

Contact: Suellen Pierce
(704) 338-3120
(704) 227-0264 (fax)

Drug Conspiracy Members Sentenced to Federal Prison

Western North Carolina Drug Distribution Organization Shut Down

ASHEVILLE, NC — The culmination of a two and one half-year federal investigation/prosecution into a drug-trafficking conspiracy which operated in Cleveland and Lincoln Counties of Western North Carolina occurred in U.S. District Court in Asheville on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 with the sentencing hearings of four criminal defendants presided over by U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger. The group of five, total, have now been sentenced as a result of charges in a federal bill of indictment filed in U.S. District Court in June 2009.

The indictment and prison sentences are the result of a two year coordinated investigation led by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF), the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI) and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Information about the defendants follows.

The above-listed law enforcement agencies coordinated the investigative effort. The federal bill of indictment charged the defendants with being members of a conspiracy involving the distribution of methamphetamine in Cleveland and Lincoln Counties from around January 2007 through June 2009.

Sentences received upon conviction in U.S. District Court are influenced by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which the Court consults in order to determine each defendant’s actual sentence. Sentences are based upon a formula that takes into account the severity and characteristics of the offense and each defendant’s criminal history, if any. The case was handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill W. Rose of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.

List of Defendants
U.S. V. ARTHUR, et al
DOCKET NUMBER 1:09cr51

JEFFREY ALAN ARTHUR

Age: 43
Last known address: Cherryville, NC
Sentenced on June 15, 2010 to 180 months in federal prison to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3743.23 in restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs.

JERAMI SHANE BEGUE

Age: 35
Last known address: Roaring River, NC
Sentenced on June 15, 2010 to 70 months in federal prison to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3167.50 in restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs.

GINA LEATHERMAN GANTT

Age: 47
Last known address: Vale, NC
Sentenced on June 15, 2010 to 37 months in federal prison to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1867.50 in restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs.

KENNETH WAYNE JOHNSON

Age: 50
Last known address: Kings Mountain, NC
Sentenced on June 15, 2010 to 240 months in federal prison to be followed by a ten-year term of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1642.50 in restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs.

TRINA JO WILLIS

Age: 34
Last known address: Roaring River, NC
Sentenced on May 19, 2010 to 70 months in federal prison to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3167.50 in restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs.

Terms of federal imprisonment are served without the possibility of parole.

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