Local Police Reports

Two Men Plead Guilty to Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Sentenced to Federal Prison Terms

Statesville, N.C.–(ENEWSPF)– Jon Darrell Baker, 35, of Johnson City, Tennessee, and Matthew Wayne Rayfield, 25, of Sugar Grove, NC, have been sentenced in federal court in Statesville on multiple counts, including conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, and possession of iodine and red phosphorus with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Both defendants entered guilty pleas to four separate counts, as charged.

U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees sentenced Baker to a total of 100 months (more than eight years) in federal prison to be served concurrently with an Avery County, N.C. Superior Court sentence and to be followed by a four year term of supervised release. Rayfield received a 60-month term of imprisonment (five years) to be followed by a four-year term of supervised release. Both Baker and Rayfield were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,888.00 to the Drug Enforcement Administration and $153.11 to the NC State Bureau of Investigation to pay for hazardous materials cleanup and resource replacement. Rayfield was sentenced on October 14, 2009 and Baker’s sentence was handed down on August 5, 2009.

Today’s announcement is made by Edward R. Ryan,  U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administrations Atlanta Field Division, Robin Pendergraft, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and Len D. Hagaman, Jr., Sheriff of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

SAC Benson of the DEA commented, “Methamphetamine is a dangerous and insidious drug that is a menace to society. The manufacture of methamphetamine leaves behind toxic waste that poses a great threat to the health and safety of communities. These sentences should resonate to other methamphetamine cooks, that DEA and our committed law enforcement counterparts will not tolerate such actions.”

"The United States Attorney’s Office appreciates the work of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. Local law enforcement in the Western District of North Carolina can fully expect that we will vigorously prosecute those who would engage in violations of the federal law," said US Attorney Ryan.

Sheriff Hagaman of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said, “I am so very pleased with this collaborative effort of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and our State and Federal law enforcement partners. This joint investigation and prosecution makes it quite clear that such cooperation has culminated, and will continue to culminate, in getting help for us to remove some of these extremely addictive and dangerous drugs from our streets. With continued cooperation, I am confident that other seizures will net more arrests and successful prosecutions as we move forward with other narcotic and dangerous drug investigations in Watauga County."

According to official court documents, the defendants participated in a methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy from December 2007 through early February 2008 in Watauga County.

The Court’s sentences as to the defendants’ terms of imprisonment fall within the applicable Federal Sentencing Guidelines for their offenses. These Guidelines consider several factors that addressed the seriousness of the conduct.

A federal magistrate judge ordered both Baker and Rayfield to be held in federal custody in a local jail in October 2008 pending the outcome of the case. Each defendant will be transported to a federal prison facility when notified by the U.S. Marshals that a Bureau of Prisons facility has been designated for incarceration. Federal sentences are served without possibility of parole.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the NC State Bureau of Investigation, and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas A. O’Malley, Charlotte office of the United States Attorney, Western District of North Carolina.

DEA Atlanta’s SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.comwww.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.