Wise Attorney Pleads Guilty to Four Felonies
Plea Agreement Calls for a Sentence of Imprisonment of 20 Months
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 20, 2013|
ABINGDON, VA—Attorney Stuart Collins, 42, of Wise, Virginia, pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to four felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
The plea agreement provides that a significant variance above the guideline range is appropriate based on the conduct underlying the offenses that are being dismissed pursuant to the agreement—including Collins’ attempts to obstruct the investigation of his illicit drug activity. If the caccepts the plea agreement, Collins will be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 20 months, a sentence higher than the otherwise applicable guidelines range of imprisonment for these crimes.
“The guilty pleas entered today demonstrate that no person is above the law,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The 20-month sentence of imprisonment called for in this plea agreement reflects the United States Attorney’s Office insistence that Collins’s obstructive conduct be taken into account in determining an appropriate punishment.”
United States District Judge James P. Jones scheduled the sentencing hearing for September 10, 2013, at the Federal Courthouse in Abingdon.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bristol Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Virginia State Police, Southwest Regional Drug Task Force, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, and Wise Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Bockhorst, Donald Wolthuis, and Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.