A Lynchburg man who federal prosecutors accused of being a significant supplier of methamphetamine in the region was sentenced to 17 years in prison Thursday.
Muncie Robert Kersey, 44, pleaded guilty in March to one count each of conspiracy to distribute meth and brandishing a firearm while trafficking drugs. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop a second narcotics charge and a second firearm charge.
Kersey was a “recurring figure” in meth dealings in and around Lynchburg from 2016 until his arrest and was responsible for distributing anywhere from five to 15 kilograms of meth, which is equivalent to 11 to 33 pounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bassford said in an earlier hearing in the Lynchburg division of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Virginia.
Kersey originally was arrested April 28, 2018 when officers with the Lynchburg Police Department were searching for an unrelated fugitive. Kersey was in a room at a Duke Street residence, pointing a gun at the door and in possession of a backpack with multiple ounces of a methamphetamine mixture in it when he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.
After entering a guilty plea, Kersey faced between at least 17 years and life in prison. On Thursday, Linda Willis, Kersey’s attorney, asked U.S. District Judge Norman Moon not to add prison time beyond the minimum sentence mandated by federal law. Bassford did not disagree with Willis, calling the 17-year sentence “pretty fair.”
From the witness stand, Kersey described his struggle with a meth addiction and the loss of his girlfriend to suicide. He said he turned to drug dealing to fund his addiction and to help pay bills.
“I was trying to get away from it,” he said. “I dug a hole too deep and I didn’t know how to get out of it.”
Asked by the judge if he was aware of how many lives he’s destroyed, Kersey said, “I do now, but at the time I didn’t see it that way.”
At the conclusion of the 30-minute hearing, Kersey apologized to the court.
“I just want to say sorry for all the havoc I caused,” he said. “I see the bad in it now. I really do.”
Moon sentenced Kersey to 10 years for the meth charge and seven years for the firearm charge. The sentences will run consecutively.
Along with the prison term, Kersey was ordered to undergo mental health and drug treatment while in custody. He will be on supervised release for five years at the end of his sentence.
Richard Chumney covers breaking news and public safety for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5547.