DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 2, 2021
Christopher R. Kavanaugh
, United States Attorney

Dickenson County Man Sentenced for Possession of Firearms and Methamphetamine While on Federal Supervised Release

Bernard Murphy Was Released From Prison Early in 2020

ABINGDON, Va. – A Dickenson County, Virginia man was sentenced today to 130 months of total incarceration for possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and violating the terms of his supervised release.

Bernard Anthony Murphy, 57, was released from federal prison on July 29, 2020, approximately five years earlier than expected, due to being granted a compassionate release because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and alleged medical issues. Murphy was placed on a three-year term of supervised release, the first four months of which were to be spent on home confinement.

However, Murphy admitted that in June 2021, less than one year after his compassionate release and while still on federal supervision, he was found in possession of over 17 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, a Ruger AR-15 rifle, and a Glock 43, 9mm pistol.

He pleaded guilty in August 2021 to one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The court sentenced him today to 106 months of imprisonment on the two new charges and 24 months of imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of ATFE’s Washington Field Division made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Dickenson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena Busscher prosecuted the case.

Washington Field Division