James Leon Massey, aged 52, hailing from Whittier, N.C., has been sentenced to 139 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. This announcement was made by Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
The sentencing involved collaboration from various law enforcement agencies. Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), overseeing the Charlotte District Office, Sheriff Doug Farmer of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Chris Hatton of the Sylva Police Department joined U.S. Attorney King in making the announcement.
According to court documents and proceedings, on April 1, 2022, at approximately 10:01 p.m., law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Massey’s car for a motor vehicle violation. Subsequent investigation revealed that Massey was driving with a suspended license. During the traffic stop, a search of Massey’s vehicle led to the discovery of a plastic container in the back area of the floorboard, containing approximately a kilogram of methamphetamine.
Massey pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on March 27, 2023. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
U.S. Attorney King expressed gratitude to the DEA, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sylva Police Department for their efforts in investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville handled the prosecution.