TAZEWELL – One of three people charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in a Jewell Ridge home has been sentenced to prison.
Helen Christina Chambers, 51, of Jewell Ridge had pleaded no contest in March to manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of two or more pre cursor substances for manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. Chambers was sentenced by Judge Teresa Chafin May 2.
She received 18 years with 14 suspended, leaving her four years to serve. The sentence was more than double what was recommended under the sentencing guidelines for the commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth asked for a longer sentence based upon the dangerousness of the process of manufacturing methamphetamine and the fact that this occurred in a home in a residential area,” stated Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Dennis H. Lee.
“I feel that those who engage in this reckless and criminal behavior should be removed from the community for a lengthy period of time,” Lee said. He praised the Tazewell County Narcotics Task Force for their work and the retail store for the tip that lead to the arrest.
Evidence elicited during Chambers’ sentencing hearing revealed that the Tazewell County Narcotics Task Force received a tip on September 11, 2010, from a local retail store that two of Chambers’male co-defendants had purchased items commonly used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Task Force officers investigated and located the residence of one of the suspects in Jewell Ridge, VA. Upon arriving at this residence, officers conducted a search and found numerous items used in the production of methamphetamine, as well as multiple bottles containing the residue of chemicals used to produce methamphetamine with the “Single Pot” method. The evidence at the sentencing hearing revealed that Chambers was a resident of the home and was fully aware of the presence of the lab. Further, Chambers indicated that she was addicted to methamphetamine.
Chambers’ co-defendants are scheduled for court later this year. Matthew Reed pleaded no contest in February and is scheduled for sentencing May18. Michael Tripp is scheduled for a jury trial July 26-27.