(STL.News) – Two members of a drug distribution organization that trafficked methamphetamine, heroin, oxycodone, cocaine, and other drugs from Georgia into Southwest Virginia were recently sentenced in federal court on drug conspiracy charges, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced.
In a hearing this week, Roy Lee Dykes, 61, of Watkinsville, Ga., formerly of Big Stone Gap, Va., was sentenced to 325 months in federal prison. He was previously convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, in addition to cocaine, heroin, alprazolam, and oxycodone. Dykes was also convicted of 17 counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.
On December 19, 2019, Leila Varetta “Rita” Hector-Dykes, 57, of Watkinsville, Ga., was sentenced to 121 months’ incarceration. She was previously convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, in addition to cocaine, heroin, alprazolam, and oxycodone. Hector-Dykes was also convicted of one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.
The Court also ordered that $10,007 seized from the defendants be forfeited to the United States, in addition to awarding a money judgment against the defendants in the amount of $108,719.
In all, 11 individuals were charged as part of this drug trafficking conspiracy. All 11 defendants have now been convicted and sentenced.
According to evidence presented at trial, these defendants conspired to traffic a variety of controlled substances, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, and alprazolam, from sources in Watkinsville, Georgia, into Southwest Virginia for redistribution. The organization operated primarily in Lee and Wise counties from November 2016 through March 1, 2018. Arrests on March 1, 2018, resulted in the seizure of approximately 11 ounces of crystal ice methamphetamine, in addition to heroin, cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone, with an estimated street value of $28,000. Currency totaling approximately $14,000 was also seized from the defendants on that day.
The investigation stemmed from another drug trafficking conspiracy arising out of Lee County, Virginia, involving seven defendants, all of whom have been convicted and sentenced. Another four defendants, including Dykes and Hector-Dykes’ sources of supply, were also identified and prosecuted during the course of these investigations. In total, these investigations have led to the successful prosecution of 22 defendants and removed a conservative estimate of 3.5 pounds of crystal ice methamphetamine from the supply chain in Southwest Virginia.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, Virginia State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Numerous agencies assisted with search warrant executions and arrests on March 1, 2018, to include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Big Stone Gap Police Department, Lee, Wise, and Scott County Sheriff’s Departments, City of Norton Police Department, the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshals. Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, a Virginia Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro prosecuted this case for the United States.