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Last of 18 Members of Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring Sentenced on Drug Charges

DEC 24 (ASHEVILLE, N.C.) - The last of 18 members of a methamphetamine trafficking organization was sentenced on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, to 46 months on drug charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Angela Leigh Wike, of Bryson City was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office and Wayne L. Dixie, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division.

In May of 2013, 18 members of the drug ring were arrested as the result of a joint law enforcement investigation conducted by DEA, ATF, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Swain County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department, and Cherokee Indian Police Department.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from May 2012 to April 2013,
the drug ring operated primarily in Jackson, Haywood, Macon, Swain and Buncombe counties in
Western North Carolina. Wake was the last defendant to be sentenced in this case. Those already sentenced are:

  • Cipriano Ramos Altamirano – 135 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
  • Claude Gregory Coggins – 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Anne Harvey Cresswell – 60 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Joseph Daniel Denmark – 60 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
  • Patricia Leigh Dreml – 57 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
  • Daniel Furman Gibson - 151 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
  • Gerardo Beltran Llanas – 97 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Forest Shane Lynn – 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Joshua Bryan Parker – 60 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
  • Eddie Dwayne Potts – 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Gerardo Rodriquez-Aragon – 46 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
  • Javier Serna-Trejo – 37 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
  • Chad Keith Shuler – 100 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
  • Paul Michael Swofford – 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Ronald Edward Swofford – 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • James Homer Taylor – 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Heather Marie West – 54 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Wike will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by the DEA and ATF, assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Swain
County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department, and Cherokee Indian Police Department. The prosecution is being handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.


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