Edward Dwayne Taylor, aged 35, received this sentence on August 24th from U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger, as part of a case stemming from a traffic stop that occurred on June 4, 2021.
As per the documented facts presented in court, which outline the events acknowledged by Taylor in support of his guilty plea, the Cherokee Indian Police Department Officer Dustin Wolfe initiated the traffic stop that ultimately led to Taylor’s conviction. Officer Wolfe recognized the vehicle’s driver as having a suspended license, prompting the stop. Additionally, one of the passengers in the vehicle had an active tribal warrant for arrest and was found in possession of a significant quantity of suspected methamphetamine. During the search, law enforcement also discovered digital scales, small plastic baggies, and items consistent with drug distribution. Initially, Taylor was released at the scene. However, he was later apprehended when both the driver of the vehicle and the individual initially found in possession of the methamphetamine informed the police that the drugs belonged to Taylor. They claimed that Taylor had asked them to hold the drugs prior to the traffic stop. During questioning by officers, Taylor confessed that the drugs were indeed his, amounting to a total of 136.56 grams of meth, which he intended to distribute to others.
A criminal indictment was issued on August 2, 2022, and Taylor entered a guilty plea on February 2. The sentencing hearing took place on August 24 at the U.S. District Court in Asheville. Reidinger sentenced Taylor to serve 87 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Currently in federal custody, Taylor will be transferred to a designated federal Bureau of Prisons facility.