LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Madison Heights man, who was convicted in September 2020 of federal drug conspiracy and weapons charges, was recently sentenced in U.S. District Court in Lynchburg to 262 months — or 21 years and 10 months — in federal prison.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice on Thursday, April 8, the Lynchburg Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a local restaurant on June 24, 2018. When officers arrived, the driver reportedly evaded law enforcement by driving down an embankment and running away.
Inside the vehicle, police say they recovered approximately 255 grams of meth, 132 grams of cocaine, and 304 grams of marijuana. Also, on the ground outside the driver’s door, they discovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm firearm.
Officials say the investigation later revealed Eric Joseph Gravette was the driver of the vehicle; possessed the weapon; and, in just under a year, had been involved in the trafficking of nine kilograms of methamphetamine.
Gravette pleaded guilty in September 2020 to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, one count of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, according to the DOJ.
Based on his criminal record, officials say Gravette was a career offender who had recently been released from serving a state sentence for drug distribution prior to committing these offenses.
This case — which was investigated by the ATF, the Lynchburg Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service — was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Coleman Adams.