39-year-old James Kristoffer Cantley, formerly of Newton, was sentenced Tuesday (November 16) by U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell to 210 months in prison and five years of supervised release for trafficking methamphetamine. The announcement was made by William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In July 2021, Cantley pleaded guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Cantley is one of 14 defendants indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2020, for trafficking methamphetamine from Georgia into Western North Carolina. According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from 2018 through April 2019, the defendants were involved in a drug network that trafficked and distributed meth in Catawba, Lincoln, Caldwell, and Alexander Counties and elsewhere. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized narcotics, at least 23 firearms, and more than $250,000 in drug proceeds.
The other defendants from the Hickory Metro who have been sentenced are as follows:
42-year-old Brian Duane Martz of Catawba County was sentenced to 191 months in prison and five years of supervised release. 34-year-old Priscilla Chapman Lambert of Hickory was sentenced to 151 months in prison and five years of supervised release. 38-year-old Ruth Marie Duggar of Claremont was sentenced to 132 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
44-year-old Lowell Thomas Messer of Newton was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release. 26-year-old Samantha Jean Taylor of Newton was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release. 57-year-old Kimberly Deann Bumgarner of Granite Falls was sentenced to 60 months in prison and two years of supervised release. And 36-year-old Cynthia Roxanne Shook of Conover was sentenced to 60 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
In making Tuesday’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked multiple agencies for their investigative efforts including the DEA in Charlotte, Asheville, and Atlanta; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; the Newton Police Department; the Conover Police Department; the Maiden Police Department; the Hickory Police Department; the Long View Police Department; the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office; the Granite Falls Police Department; the Taylorsville Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.