A husband and wife from Meadowview, Virginia, were sentenced last week for trafficking huge quantities of methamphetamine from California into Southwest Virginia.

Justin Edward Hale, 38, and Elizabeth Hale, 40, were given 30 years and 16 years in prison, respectively, in U.S. District Court in Abingdon. Both defendants pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more.

“These defendants not only brought huge quantities of methamphetamine into Southwest Virginia, but they utilized firearms and threats of violence in furtherance of their drug trade,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said. “As a result, they will spend the better parts of their lives in federal prison. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners to dismantle methamphetamine trafficking rings and hold dealers accountable.”

According to evidence presented in previous hearings, the Hales delivered multi-pound packages of meth to Abingdon and Marion with the help of multiple dealers, who are also co-defendants in the case. Two co-defendants, Jessica Dixon and Michael Kestner, were found to have used firearms to threaten or intimidate individuals who owed them money for methamphetamine.

The investigation was conducted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Smyth County Sheriff’s Office, Abingdon Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and Virginia State Police.

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