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18th member of a Shenandoah County drug ring sentenced to prison

(WHSV)
Published: May. 14, 2020 at 1:29 PM EDT
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A woman has been sentenced to five years in prison amid the latest court proceedings connected to a drug ring that distributed large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine in Shenandoah County.

According to the Department of Justice, 38-year-old Katie Harlow, of Mount Jackson, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg on Wednesday.

In April of 2019, Harlow had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of distributing methamphetamine.

Prosecutors say she conspired with dozens of others to traffic heroin and methamphetamine into the Shenandoah County area from 2016 to 2018.

According to court documents, she admitted being part of a conspiracy that distributed large amounts of the drugs in the area.

In total, jurors

, each charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

A property at 160 Shenandoah Street in Mount Jackson, just off Route 11 and not far from Triplett Tech, was linked to the drug ring investigation at the time of the 2018 arrests, and Brandon Wayne Eppard, of Mount Jackson, accused of maintaining the property for the purpose of distributing controlled substances.

“The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to hold individuals accountable who prey on the addictions of others, by trafficking heroin and methamphetamine into our communities,” First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said. “We could not prosecute these important cases without the close relationships between our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, for whom we are truly grateful.”

As of May 14, the following people have been sentenced in connection with the Shenandoah County drug ring:

• Anthony Benjamin Testerman, of Mount Jackson, Va. - 125 months

• William Ray Shoemaker, of Edinburg, Va. - 72 months

• Jeffrey Craig Mays, of Mount Jackson, Va. - 47 months

• Javon Eugene Cook, of Mount Jackson, Va. - 110 months

• Brooke McIntosh, Timberville, Va. - 67 months

• Jonathan Lewis Hodges, of New Market, Va. - 130 months

• Kenneth J. Webb, of Woodstock, Va.- time served

• Amanda Jean Mullins, of Edinburg, Va. - 48 months

• Michael Mullins- 101 months

• Dietrich Day II, of Dumfries, Va. - 48 months

• Christian Michael Burhop, of Basye, Va. – 120 months

• Christopher Thomas Trimble, of Fishersville, Va. - 120 months

• Brandon Wayne Eppard, of Mount Jackson, Va. - to be sentenced August 3, 2020

• Tiffany Bowman Lopez, of Quicksburg, Va. - 5 months

• Erika Lam- time served

• Justin Tyler Mumaw, of Edinburg, Va. - 65 months

• Dana Marie Silvious, of Front Royal, Va. - 18 months

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, the RUSH Drug Task Force, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Mount Jackson Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Timberville Police Department, and the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Grayson A. Hoffman and Jeb Terrien prosecuted the case for the United States.

“ATF is a proud partner in the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, whose exceptional work against this trafficking organization has led to multiple indictments of these criminal offenders,” said ATF Washington Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict. “More importantly, these efforts have helped stem the flow of illegal narcotics and other criminal activity into Shenandoah County and all of western Virginia.”

December 2018:

Following a months-long investigation, 19 people, mostly from Shenandoah County, have been arrested for their alleged roles in trafficking methamphetamine and heroin.

According to a Department of Justice indictment unsealed on Wednesday, 18 defendants were charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

Some of those charges involve people accused of trafficking more than 1,000 grams of heroin and more than 500 grams of meth between January 2016 and December 2018.

"These drug distribution and federal firearms charges are among the most serious possible under federal law," Thomas Cullen, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said.

One defendant, identified as 28-year-old Brandon Wayne Eppard, of Mount Jackson, is accused of maintaining a property for the purpose of distributing controlled substances.

That property was 160 Shenandoah Street in Mount Jackson, just off Route 11 and not far from Triplett Tech.

According to a press release from the Dept. of Justice, another man, Merle Stephens, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Stephens was arrested at a Motel 6 in Mount Jackson on December 7.

Four others – identified as Michael Mullins, Jeffrey Craig Mays, William Ray Shoemaker, and Christopher Thomas Trimble – face firearm charges in addition to their drug charges.

The indictment lists weapons seized, including three 9 mm. handguns, a .38 Special revolver, .40 caliber handgun, 5.56x45mm semi-automatic rifle, and more.

The 19 people arrested face a total of 41 charges between them.

“ATF is committed to ridding American streets of crime, not just in large cities but also in the rural areas that are often hit hardest by the scourge of illegal firearms and drugs," said Special Agent in Charge Thomas L. Chittum III, ATF Washington Field Division. "This investigation is a great example of how we work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle criminal organizations and protect the communities they infest. It should serve as a reminder to others that no matter where you are, if you commit a federal crime, we will do everything we can to put you behind bars."

The ATF partnered with the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, the RUSH Drug Task Force, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Mount Jackson Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Timberville Police Department, and the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to carry out the investigation.

You can read the full indictment, which lists the details of each charge against each individual,

.

Those arrested included:

• Anthony Benjamin Testerman, 25, of Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

• William Ray Shoemaker, 45, of Edinburg, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, three counts of distributing and possession with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

• Jeffrey Craig Mays, 32, of Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

• Katie L. Harlow, 37, Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and three counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

• Javon Eugene Cook, 26, of Mount Jackson, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

• Brooke McIntosh, 27, Timberville, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine

• Jonathan Lewis Hodges, 30, of New Market, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.

• Kenneth J. Webb, 32, of Woodstock, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and three counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.

• Amanda Jean Mullins, 30, of Edinburg, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.

• Michael Mullins, 32, - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

• Dietrich M. Day, 28, of Dumfries, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

• Christian Michael Burhop, 27, of Basye, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, three counts of distribution of heroin, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

• Christopher Thomas Trimble, 27, of Fishersville, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

• Brandon Wayne Eppard, 28, of Mount Jackson, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of maintaining a premises for the purpose of unlawfully distributing, possessing, and using controlled substances.

• Tiffany Bowman Lopez, 30, Quicksburg, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and four counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

• Erica Lam, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

• Justin Tyler Mumaw, 26, of Edinburg, Va., - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

• Dana Marie Silvious, 29, Front Royal, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin.