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Salem man pleads guilty to methamphetamine charges

ROANOKE (WSLS 10 ) - A 21-year-old Salem man, who admitted to having crystal methamphetamine shipped to the Roanoke Valley from California, pled guilty Monday to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

Tyler Johnson pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine or 500 grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

According to evidence presented at Monday's guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Day Rottenborn, Johnson admitted that from November 2015 through February 2016 he bought crystal methamphetamine from Joshua Voress of Beverly Hills, California. Johnson met Voress via the Internet and during the course of their drug relationship, Johnson bought between 10 and 30 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. Voress shipped the crystal methamphetamine to Johnson in the mail, usually through the United States Postal Service or FedEx. Once the drugs were received in the Western District of Virginia, Johnson sold the crystal methamphetamine in Roanoke and the surrounding areas.

Johnson was interdicted on February 19, 2016, when local law enforcement observed him make a hand-to-hand crystal methamphetamine sale out of the window of his car in the parking lot of a Sheetz gas station. At the time, Johnson had approximately 20 grams of crystal methamphetamine in his possession.

"Methamphetamine is a drug that destroys the lives of those who become addicted. The abuse of this dangerous substance is so often the spark for other criminal activities," United States Attorney Fishwick said Monday. "We will continue to dedicate as many resources as possible to combat this growing threat in our community."

The investigation of the case was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the Roanoke City Police Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, the Salem Police Department, and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Donald R. Wolthuis and Laura Day Rottenborn prosecuted the case for the United States.