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Burke Woman Sentenced In Drug Trafficking Ring

Burke Woman Sentenced In Drug Trafficking Ring

A Burke County woman is among five defendants sentenced in a federal case involving a meth trafficking ring. Last Thursday (November 18) U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell handed down sentences of up to 15 years in prison to the defendants for their involvement in the operation, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

42-year-old Danielle Denise Dieters Ward of Morganton was sentenced to 36 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Ward pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Also sentenced on Thursday were 29-year-old William Jay Allen, Jr. of Vilas, he received 180 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. 31-year-old Justin Kevin Anderson of Boone was sentenced to 135 months in prison, followed by six years of supervised release. 37-year-old Thomas Burns Shelley III of Blowing Rock was sentenced to 132 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Jeffrey David Miller of Sugar Grove was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release. A sixth co-defendant, 47-year-old Timothy Wilson Critcher of Boone is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7.

According to court documents and the sentencing hearing, from 2018 to 2020, Allen and his co-conspirators trafficked more than 12 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in Ashe and Watauga Counties, and elsewhere. Court documents show that Allen was the source of supply for the meth, and his co-defendants operated as couriers and sellers in the conspiracy.

All of the defendants are in currently custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and will be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. The prosecutions are being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.