CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The supplier of a local drug network has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Matthew Wondra, 34, of Murphy, N.C., was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release after he is released from prison.
According to court documents and yesterday’s sentencing hearing, in September 2018, law enforcement became aware that Wondra was operating as a supplier for a local drug network in Cherokee and Graham Counties and elsewhere. Court records show that Wondra frequently traveled to Georgia to purchase kilogram quantities of methamphetamine and heroin, which he then distributed to dealers in Western North Carolina. Throughout the investigation, Wondra engaged in multiple drug transactions, and at times possessed firearms in connection with his drug trafficking activities. On one occasion, Wondra put a gun to the head of a person he accused of stealing drug proceeds from him during the course of the conspiracy and he threatened to kill that person. According to filed documents, from September 2018 to August 2019, Wondra was responsible for purchasing and distributing more than 19 kilograms of methamphetamine and over three kilograms of heroin.
On October 30, 2020, Wondra pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. At yesterday’s court hearing, Wondra received sentencing enhancements for weapons possession, making a credible threat, maintaining a premises for the purpose of storing and distributing controlled substances, and for his leadership role during the drug conspiracy.
Wondra’s co-defendants, Jamie Allen and Derek Wilson, were previously sentenced to 10 years and 4.25 years in prison, respectively, for their role in the conspiracy.
In making today’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Asheville Post of Duty; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office; the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office; the Swain County Sheriff’s Office; the Graham County Sheriff’s Office; the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office; the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office; the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; the Cherokee Indian Police Department; the Murphy Police Department; and the Asheville Police Department for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.