Heroin dealer pleads guilty; sentenced to 70 months in prison

Patrick Yost News

A Rutledge man arrested by Morgan County authorities on Dec. 14, 2016 has pled guilty in federal court for possession of heroin, with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Charles E. Peeler, Joshua William Stowe, 27,  was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment by Senior United States District Court Judge C. Ashley Royal in Athens on March 7.

Stowe and his half-brother Edward Vance Tallon, 49, were both arrested after officers with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Stowe’s Spears Road residence. At the residence, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports state, officers found six grams of black tar heroin, two shotguns, a rifle, a 9mm pistol, a homemade silencer and various drug paraphernalia. The arrest warrant was issued after a confidential informant purchased heroin from the residence.

According to the press release, “On the date of his arrest , Mr. Stowe had two prior felony convictions for burglary and a felony theft conviction.”

The release states that Tallon has pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and will be sentenced federal on April 11.

There is no chance of parole in the federal system.

The arrests came, the release states as part of a federal Project Safe Neighborhoods program “that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.”

“Guns and drugs are a recurring theme in our local communities and in our nation. It is the goal of my office to make substantial penitentiary sentences for those who deal in these items a recurring part of that theme as well,” said Peeler.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary prosecuted the case for the government.

In an unrelated arrest, Andrew Whittington, 40, Myrtle Beach, S.C.  was sentenced to 110 months imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Whittington was arrested on Dec. 18, 2016 by a Georgia State Patrol trooper after he was stopped for speeding on Interstate 20. Reports state that after Whittington gave consent to a search of his vehicle he then became violent with officers after methamphetamine was found in the vehicle.

Reports state that 234.15 grams of methamphetamine, 14.476 grams of heroin and a stolen .22 caliber pistol were found in the vehicle.”

Whittington was sentenced by Judge Royal on March 7 in Athens.

“A career criminal dealing in the poison of illegal drugs, violently resisting apprehension and carrying a deadly weapon to protect his stash, Andrew Whittington is the exact person Congress had in mind when it passed the law making it illegal for a felon to possess a firearm,” Peeler said. “He richly deserves the hefty sentence he received…”

Records state that on the date of his arrest, Whittington had five prior felony convictions.

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