Drug Enforcement Administration

Atlanta

Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

October 20, 2015

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (404) 893-7000

Joshua Brandon Hinkle Sentenced To 110 Months For A-Pvp Distribution Conspiracy

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Joshua Brandon Hinkle, 30, of Chuckey, Tenn., was sentenced on Oct. 20, 2015, by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 110 months in federal prison for his role in an extensive a-(alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone) distribution conspiracy centered in northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia and western North Carolina.

According to the plea agreement on file with the U.S District Clerk, Hinkle admitted to making approximately 30 to 40 trips to obtain a-PVP from a source of supply in North Carolina, and bringing back an estimated 2,000 (2 kilograms) to the Eastern District of Tennessee for resale. 

A-PVP is a synthetic drug, primarily ordered from China, which is commonly referred to on the street as “gravel” or “flakka.”  Common effects on users include: extreme paranoia; hallucinations; elevated blood pressure; extremely high body temperature; excited delirium; staying awake for days; hostility and having exceptional strength without apparent fatigue.  These are many of the characteristics of the drug that make it very dangerous not only for the user but also for law enforcement responding to people who are high on it.  A-PVP has been referred to by users of the substance as “meth on steroids.” 

Others who were previously sentenced in this a-PVP trafficking conspiracy include: Richard McNeal Hillman, Ronnie Lee Shelton, Austin Michael Stallard, Johnny Michael Stallard, Desera Jade Allen, Phillip Wayne Mullins, Johnny White, Michael Ray Mangum, Eric Matthew Vance, Evelyn Vickers and James Elmer Mclain, who were sentenced by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, U.S. District Court Judge to 188 months, 235 months, 121 months, 180 months, 151 months, 151 months, 120 months, 120 months, 135 months, 110 months and 110 months in federal prison respectively.   

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Hinkle and the co-defendants listed above include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security Investigations, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson City Police Department, Greeneville, Tennessee Police Department, Hendersonville, North Carolina Police Department, and Scott County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.

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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