Drug trafficking investigation led to multiple prison sentences totaling over 90 years

Updated 15 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A man and a woman from Paramount, California, and a woman from South Charleston were sentenced to federal prison today for their roles in a large-scale drug trafficking organization, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Gregory Crum, 42, and Diana Salazar Gamboa, 44, both previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Crum was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Gamboa was sentenced to eight years and one month in federal prison. Additionally, Beth Hammonds, 53, previously pleaded guilty to using the mail to facilitate a drug crime and was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison.

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 packages that contained crystal methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “ice.” Since January 2014, several pounds of crystal 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.

Crum and Gamboa admitted that they arranged for methamphetamine to be sent into the Southern District and accepted payment for the drugs. Hammonds admitted that she received methamphetamine and further distributed it to individuals around South Charleston. Hammonds also admitted that she mailed proceeds from the drug distributions to Joseph Cooper, another individual involved in the conspiracy.

Multiple defendants have been sentenced to federal prison as a result of this large-scale methamphetamine trafficking investigation. 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. David Huffman was sentenced to eight years and four months 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. Light was sentenced to four years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Jon Bowman was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for using the mail to facilitate a drug crime.

Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is responsible for these prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., imposed the sentences and presided over these cases.

These prosecutions were brought as 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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