Roanoke Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Traffic Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke man was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison for conspiring with others to traffic dangerous drugs from sources across the country into the Roanoke Valley.

Stephen Cornell Vaughn Jr., 39, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and 100 grams or more of heroin.

Following his arrest, Vaughn admitted that he regularly obtained large quantities of methamphetamine and opioids, including fentanyl, from drug sources in both the Northeastern United States as well as Las Vegas, and then trafficked them into the Roanoke Valley for redistribution.  Evidence in the case revealed that Vaughn had transported more than 100 pounds of narcotics into the local Roanoke community during the course of the conspiracy. 

The investigation of Vaughn culminated in a traffic stop in Kansas in 2018, leading to his arrest.  During the stop, one of Vaughn’s couriers was found to be in possession of 11.5 pounds of methamphetamine, eight pounds of cocaine, and 2.5 pounds of fentanyl, stashed in the trunk of a rental vehicle. Vaughn later acknowledged making and coordinating several such drug runs, paying as much as $130,000 for narcotics in a single transaction.  Investigators established that Vaughn often flew to meet his contacts in other states while his couriers transported the purchased narcotics by car. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Virginia State Police investigated the case with assistance from the region’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, the Roanoke City Police Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, and the City of Salem Police Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kari Munro and Jonathan Jones prosecuted the case for the United States.