GREENEVILLE (press release)—Austin Michael Stallard, 19, of Kingsport, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 121 months in federal prison for his role in an a-PVP (alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone) distribution conspiracy centered in and around the Sullivan County, Tenn., area and for possessing hydromorphone and a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking. A-PVP is a synthetic drug which is commonly referred to on the street as “gravel.”
According to Stallard’s plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court, in April 2013 he was pulled over for a traffic stop in Kingsport, Tenn. As the officer approached the vehicle, Stallard initially refused to raise his right hand. He later told the arresting officer that he had been manipulating a pistol magazine at the time. A search of the vehicle revealed: a .40 caliber Glock pistol under the driver’s seat; three additional fully loaded .40 caliber Glock pistol magazines in the glove compartment; a total of 58, .45 caliber bullets; a shoulder holster; a gun case; and two boxes of .40 caliber ammunition containing another 19 rounds. Upon being transported and booked into the Kingsport Police Department jail, officers located 60 hydromorphone pills in a black 35mm type container hidden underneath Stallard’s clothing near his buttocks.
In July 2013, Stallard led police officers on a lengthy, high speed car chase through the Eastern District of Tennessee and parts of the Western District of Virginia. During the chase, Stallard struck a concrete retaining wall and at another point, struck a parked car. His vehicle reached at least 85 mph and he tossed various baggies from the window of the vehicle as he led officers on the pursuit. The chase ended when his right front tire exploded, although he continued for a period of time on the wheel’s rim. Stallard told law enforcement officers that he had been trying to get them to chase him all day. A search of the interior of his vehicle revealed a number of different kinds of drugs, including oxycodone, hydromorphone and a-PVP. A stun gun was also located inside the vehicle.
Stallard stipulated in his plea agreement that he conspired to distribute a conservative estimate of 1,200 grams of a-PVP in the Eastern District of Tennessee and elsewhere. He was involved in dealing a-PVP and was indicted with a number of his family members. Stallard’s cousin and father both have been convicted on a-PVP conspiracy charges and are awaiting sentencing. Other family members, Peggy Stallard, 55, and Leslie Stallard, 37, both of Kingsport, Tenn., were previously sentenced to terms of 60 and 72 months in prison respectively.
U.S. Attorney William C. Killian stated, “Gravel” is a very dangerous and harmful substance. We are pleased with these significant sentences and believe that they reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed.”
Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction and sentencing of Stallard and his co-defendants include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson City Police Department, Greeneville, Tennessee Police Department, Hendersonville, North Carolina Police Department, and Scott County, Virginia Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.