(STL.News) – A federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte returned yesterday a criminal indictment charging four individuals with federal charges for their involvement in a drug conspiracy trafficking methamphetamine, announced Andrew Murray U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
The indictment charges Savannah LeeAnn Goins, 19, of Crouse, N.C.; Marlee Dare Griffith, 21, of Cherryville, N.C.; Ryan Andrew Prescott, 21, of Lincolnton, N.C.; and Joseph Michael Vassey, 43, of Enoree, S.C., with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Griffith, Vassey, and Prescott are facing additional charges for distribution of, and possession with intent to distribute, methamphetamine. Griffith and Goins are also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. A fifth co-conspirator, Dakota Reese Davis, 33, of Lincolnton, pleaded guilty yesterday to drug trafficking conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to allegations contained in the indictment and related filed criminal complaints, from at least 2019 to February 2020, the defendants were involved in a conspiracy that distributed methamphetamine in and around Gaston, Lincoln, and Cleveland Counties. The indictment alleges that, during the relevant time period, the co-conspirators conducted multiple drug sales. The court documents further allege that law enforcement executed search warrants and seized items incident to arrest that total five firearms, one of which was stolen, ammunition, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and more than $8,900 in U.S. currency.
The defendants are currently in federal custody. The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The drug conspiracy charge carries a mandatory-minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison; the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine charges carry prison terms that range up to 10 years or life in prison; and the charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years to life, to be served consecutively with any other prison term imposed.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, the Huntersville Police Department, the Gastonia Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office for their coordinated investigation of this case.