ABINGDON, Va. (WRIC) — A California man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted of running a meth operation in Southwest Virginia.

Guy Bowman, 56, alongside his girlfriend, Sally Mae Carr, moved to rural Southwest Virginia in 2021 and began dealing meth there, running their operation for about a year before the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested them.

While Sally Carr pleaded guilty and cooperated with law enforcement, Bowman decided to take his case to trial — and was convicted on two counts earlier this year.

Police were tipped off multiple times by both a local customer of Bowman and a fellow drug trafficker who was convicted on federal charges. The DEA purchased meth from Bowman several times using informants before raiding his home in March.

There, they seized two pounds of meth but did not arrest Bowman, who was not at home. When he was arrested later that night, Bowman, unprompted, told agents “I’m good at what I do” and “I’m connected with the Sinaloa Cartel.”

Too Old for Prison?

In sentencing memorandums filed before Bowman’s judgement was passed down, the defense and prosecution painted two very different pictures of Bowman and the impact a long prison term would have on him.

Though Bowman admitted to transporting nearly 200 pounds of meth from California to Virginia — and continued to conduct his sales from jail after his arrest — his lawyers called for leniency from the court.

“Mr. Bowman is currently 57 years old and he will be approximately 66 years old, if given the mandatory minimum,” they wrote. “At that age, he would not be a threat to society. A ten year sentence would be an adequate deterrent.”

They added that he suffered from multiple mental and physical health issues, including paranoid schizophrenia, Bell’s Palsy and the aftermath of a stroke suffered while awaiting trial.

But the prosecution rejected that argument, saying that despite his age, Bowman was at a high risk for recidivism.

“Bowman’s prior criminal history demonstrates he has engaged in a lifetime of serious and significant crime for which prior periods of incarceration, probation, and parole have had no deterrent effect on his continued criminal conduct,” they wrote.

Ultimately, the court sided with the prosecution, imposing their requested sentence of 30 years in prison — likely a life sentence for the 56-year-old Guy Benjamin Bowman.