Abingdon Man to Serve More Than 17 Years for Trafficking Methamphetamine

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

ABINGDON, Va. – Ralph Allen Phillips, Jr., 62, was sentenced today to 210 months in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, law enforcement officials executed several controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Phillips in early 2021. While executing a search warrant of Phillips’s residence, federal agents found approximately one pound of methamphetamine in his bedroom safe along with nearly $40,000 in cash, some of which bore the same serial numbers as cash used during the controlled purchases.  Elsewhere, agents found a loaded 9 mm handgun, several thousand dollars in additional cash, and more methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.

The investigation revealed that Phillips began selling multi-ounce quantities of methamphetamine in Southwest Virginia for approximately two-and-a-half years, and then escalated to trafficking over a pound of methamphetamine every two weeks. 

As part of his plea agreement, Phillips is forfeiting a total of $44,550 in cash, the 9mm handgun and ammunition, as well as four motorcycles.   

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Jared Forget, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Washington Division, made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Virginia State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Abingdon Police Department investigated the case.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Whit D. Pierce prosecuted the case.