As part of a plea agreement, a Charlottesville man pleaded guilty to a felony charge of racketeering in Nelson County Circuit Court on March 16.

Donny Lynn Sprouse Jr., 39, was sentenced to 15 years in prison with 13 of those years suspended.

According to Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford, during the course July 2017 and July 2018, Sprouse participated as a dealer of methamphetamine as part of a larger distribution network in the county.

He said the network would bring meth into the county and dealers, like Sprouse, would distribute it.

Rutherford said the Nelson County distribution network was comprised of four tiers and Sprouse was at the bottom of the network’s hierarchy. He said Sprouse usually dealt in amounts of no more than an ounce.

He noted three of the 12 individuals’ testimonies if the case had gone to trial could directly link Sprouse’s involvement to the network.

So far, 12 people have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the ring, according to Rutherford. He said each person would have testified to the workings of the network at trial.

In addition to the witnesses’ testimony, Rutherford submitted as evidence a chart outlining the hierarchy of the distribution network, which was sealed, as well as the results from six drug labs.

The commonwealth dropped two additional charges for distribution of meth of varying amounts as part of the plea deal.

“I just want to apologize to everyone involved for my involvement,” Sprouse told the court before he was sentenced.

Sprouse is eligible for two years of supervised probation immediately following his release from prison.

Nick Cropper covers Nelson County. Reach him at (434) 385-5522.

Nick Cropper covers Nelson County. Reach him at (434) 385-5522.