ABINGDON, Va. (WRIC) — A Southwest Virginia man has been sentenced to 17 and a half years in federal prison for conspiring to sell methamphetamine and possessing, firearms, explosives and destructive devices.

Steven Cantrell, 28, pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Possession of a firearm and ammunition in the furtherance of drug trafficking.
  • Possession of explosives after having been convicted of a felony and while being an unlawful drug user.
  • Possession of unregistered destructive devices.

During the execution of a search warrant at Cantrell’s residence, three destructive devices, seven blasting caps, fourteen firearms and over 2,500 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

In September, co-conspirator Amanda Skeens was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison while another conspirator, Josh Goodman, was sentenced to 9 years. Two other conspirators, Zachary Justice and Ronda Rose, were sentenced to 14 years and 7.5 years respectively.

According to court documents, Cantrell and Justice shared an apartment in Swords Creek, Va. During 2019 and 2020, both men sold methamphetamine — Justice also traded firearms to Cantrell for methamphetamine to resell.

According to documents, Skeens’ role in the conspiracy was to supply coconspirators with methamphetamine several times a week from her home in West Virginia. After receiving numerous complaints from neighbors and law enforcement, The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance in the vicinity of Skeens’ property.

During this surveillance, on Oct. 25, 2021, officers observed a vehicle — containing Goodman, Cantrell and another man — making an improper lane change. According to court documents, officers conducted a traffic stop and searched the vehicle, finding 232 grams of methamphetamine in a backpack. All three men were arrested.

On Nov. 3, 2021, Goodman, in the presence of his attorney, stated that the three men had traveled from Tazewell County, Virginia, to West Virginia for Cantrell to purchase half a pound of methamphetamine for $3200 and an 8-ball of methamphetamine Cantrell had on him as a gift for brokering the deal.