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Big Stone man must serve 10 years for drug sales

Staff report • Jul 25, 2017 at 1:44 PM

WISE — A Big Stone Gap man on Tuesday was sentenced to serve 10 years of a 30-year prison sentence on drug charges arising from a 2016 investigation.

James Edward Williams, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Wise County Circuit Court to five counts of distribution of a Schedule I or II drug. Twenty years of the sentence was suspended. Following his release Williams will also be required to successfully complete seven years of supervised probation.

Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said the case stems from an extensive investigation by the Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force and its member agencies into the distribution of illegal drugs in and around Big Stone Gap.

Slemp said evidence showed between May and August 2016 on five different occasions Williams sold a variety of illegal narcotics including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The case was prosecuted by Wise County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ross Phillips.

Slemp said the illicit dealing "of these dangerous narcotics is a major source of crime in our region. The drugs distributed here are dangerous and highly addictive. We continue to work to get this poison off the streets to save lives, and we will continue to seek tough sentences for anyone who profits from distributing these drugs in our community."

Slemp thanked the Drug Task Force, the DTF's member agencies and the Virginia State Police for their teamwork in investigating the case and assisting in preparation for trial.

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