AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A man has pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine distribution-related charge in Amarillo Federal Court stemming from an October 2022 incident.

According to documents filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division, Joey Dwayne Essary pleaded guilty to one count of “possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.”

The factual resume states that on Oct. 18, 2022, an officer with the Amarillo Police Department pulled over a silver Toyota 4-Runner after they saw the vehicle commit a traffic violation. After the officer pulled the vehicle over, the officer discovered that the driver, identified as Essary, had an outstanding warrant and was arrested.

When the officer performed a “probable cause search” of the vehicle, the documents said that they found two bags that allegedly contained suspected methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia. Initially, the documents state that Essary told officers that he did not know about the drugs in the vehicle, but allegedly admitted to officers that he received methamphetamine from a supplier.

According to the plea agreement, which accompanied the factual resume when it was filed on Monday in Amarillo Federal Court, the minimum and maximum penalties officials can impose on Essary include:

  • Imprisonment for a period of not more than 20 years;
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000,000, or twice any pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim(s);
  • A term of supervised release of not less than three years or more than life, which is mandatory under the law and will follow any term of imprisonment;
  • Forfeiture of property, including all property seized by law enforcement on Jan. 5, and $1,845 seized by the Amarillo Police Department or the Drug Enforcement Administration on Oct. 18, 2022.

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