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Head of drug trafficking operation in Nelson County pleads guilty, faces minimum 14 years

LOVINGSTON — A Roanoke man at the head of a drug trafficking operation in Nelson County that involved 11 other individuals pleading guilty, pleaded guilty this week in Nelson Circuit Court.

Peter Jelf Porter, 53, who also is known as Christopher Gause Delroy and Semour Maxwell, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of racketeering and one count of distributing more than 100 grams of methamphetamine in Nelson from July 2017 until he was indicted in February 2019. A fourth charge was dropped per the terms of the plea agreement.

Porter faces a minimum active sentence of 14 years of incarceration.

The 11 others who have pleaded guilty are Porter’s son, Jafori Porter; Shawn Baker; D. Camm Ragland IV; Katina Wood; Jennifer Pearce; Michael Shawn Craig; William Sturm; Sandra Shifflett; Donny Sprouse Jr.; Josh Painter; and William Wood, according to a news release from Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford.

According to Rutherford, Porter trafficked more than 10 kilograms of meth into Nelson County from Roanoke. From there, he would sell the drug to three people: Painter, Ragland and Baker, who would then sell to those in the lower levels of the network.

Porter’s attorney, Chuck Felmlee, said in court Tuesday that the defense did not necessarily agree with the 10-kilogram figure presented by the commonwealth.

At the height of Porter’s operation, which Rutherford said began to take off around winter of 2018, Porter would traffic as much as one pound of meth into Nelson every week.

Jafori Porter also assisted in meth distribution and collection of drug debt at times.

Peter Porter was arrested on outstanding indictments upon his arrival in Miami from Jamaica, where he is originally from, in February 2019 with assistance from the U.S. Marshals, the release stated.

In court, Felmlee expressed gratitude that the commonwealth had agreed to amend Porter’s charges, but he said he still felt a minimum 14-year active sentence was harsh given Porter’s cooperation and the fact he has no previous criminal record.

Porter is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and is awaiting a pre-sentencing report. His sentencing will take place in the fall.


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