Putnam County man sentenced to federal prison for role in large-scale methamphetamine conspiracy

Updated 22 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Putnam County man was sentenced  to a year and a half in federal prison for a drug charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Jon Bowman, 58, of Poca, previously pleaded guilty to using the mail to facilitate a drug crime.

As part of a comprehensive investigation, agents from the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, and Homeland Security Investigations intercepted several mail packages that contained methamphetamine, other drugs, or drug proceeds. Since January 2014, several pounds of methamphetamine were transported from California and Nevada into the Southern District of West Virginia via the United States mail or through individuals driving packages of drugs into the area. Bowman admitted that he took part in this conspiracy by working with others to ship and distribute methamphetamine. On March 4, 2014, law enforcement intercepted a package that Bowman had helped arrange to send to St. Albans containing approximately 245 grams of crystal methamphetamine concealed inside an object shaped like a turtle. Bowman further admitted that he intended to use and distribute the methamphetamine throughout the Kanawha County area.

Multiple defendants have been sentenced to federal prison as a result of this large-scale methamphetamine trafficking investigation. Joseph Cooper was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Benjamin Childers was sentenced to 10 years and a month in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Mark Cobb and Shayne Shamblen were both sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Mark Bays was sentenced to five years in prison for maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing methamphetamine. Harold Parsons was sentenced to four years in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Morgan Light was sentenced to four years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Other individuals involved in the drug trafficking organization have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. David Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and faces at least five and up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 21, 2017. Gregory Crum and Diana Salazar Gamboa both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Crum faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison. Gamboa faces at least five and up to 40 years in federal prison. Beth Hammonds pleaded guilty to using the mail to facilitate a drug crime and faces up to five years in federal prison for her role in the conspiracy. Crum, Gamboa, and Hammonds are all scheduled to be sentenced on August 3, 2017.

Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is responsible for these prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., is presiding over these cases.

These prosecutions are part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

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