NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Chesapeake man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his involvement in a drug conspiracy.

Federal Judge Elizabeth Hanes sentenced Barry Justin King to 14 years in prison following his August 2022 guilty plea of one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

King’s sentence is more than what his supplier received, however, his supplier did cooperate with the federal government. King’s mother, Susan Carter, says she believes the supplier should have received a harsher sentence.

“He reached out to my son. He reached out to him on social media. That’s how he got connected with him. That is where he got his source from, and he is a much bigger person in the chain,” explained Carter.

Court documents showed that King received and distributed around four to five kilograms of methamphetamine every month from January 2019 to April 2021. He also distributed counterfeit prescription pills that contained fentanyl and other illegal drugs.

King was stopped by officers during a traffic stop after being tipped off by one of King’s sources of supply. He was found with methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, and counterfeit Adderall pills that were laced with methamphetamine.

In an earlier seizure that involved what his supplier was intending to deliver to King, federal authorities say they found three pounds of methamphetamine, 632 orange pills containing methamphetamine, 794 counterfeit Xanax pills containing etizolam, and 51 white pills containing both fentanyl and acetaminophen.

The Department of Justice says etizolam can be 10 times more potent than other drugs in the same class, such as Xanax.

In federal court Thursday, prosecutor Kevin Comstock said the bust of King “removed an astronomical amount of dangerous drugs from our streets, homes and schools”.

King described in court how he became addicted to drugs himself about ten years ago, calling his experience with fentanyl terrible and felt that he was happy to be alive.

Carter described a violent incident for her son during his incarceration so far at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

“He was attacked inside Western Regional Jail by a gang member. The gang member took his ear completely off his body. He chewed his ear off. He had to have it surgically attached,” she said. “It was violent. It was horrible.”

As part of the sentencing for King, Judge Hanes said she will recommend that he get access to drug addiction recovery programs while he’s behind bars.