A Henry County man will serve 22 years in prison — not even half as much as he might have — for distributing methamphetamine after two raids by investigators discovered not only drugs but also vehicles, weapons and a lot more.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office conducted a raid on Feb. 28, 2018, at the home of David Brandon Cannaday, 31, of 786 Hidden Valley Drive and returned with another search warrant in May 2019.
There they seized approximately one-quarter of a pound of methamphetamine and a small quantity of heroin, and the searches yielded six firearms, body armor, $7,800 in cash, eight vehicles, four motorcycles, three ATVs, one boat, one camper and one enclosed trailer.
The approximate street value of the suspected narcotics was more than $8,000.
On July 3, 2019, after a 16-month operation, deputies arrested Cannaday on charges of possession of more than 100 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while possessing schedule I or II controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony within the past 10 years.
Cannaday pleaded no contest to the charges on Thursday, and Henry County Circuit Court Judge David Williams sentenced him to 40 years in prison, with 20 years suspended, on the drug charges. He also will have indefinite supervision and pay $3,996 in court costs and $1,970 in restitution. The firearms charges earned him 10 years. with 8 years suspended.
Williams reasoned that Cannaday did not qualify for the safety-valve rule that permits a sentencing court to disregard a statutory minimum sentence.
“You get the mandatory minimum if you have more than 100 grams, and he had 126,” Henry County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Awbrey Watts said. “So the General Assembly says you get the minimum of 20 years.”
Williams said he wasn’t opposed to the mandatory minimum in Cannaday’s case because he was “playing the middle against both sides.”
“He said he [Cannaday] wasn’t a drug dealer, but the evidence showed he was a high-level drug dealer, and he didn’t stop after the first raid. He kept selling,” Watts said. “When they [police] went back a second time, he was still selling.”
Methamphetamine is powerful and highly addictive and is said by local law enforcement to run rampant throughout Martinsville and Henry and Patrick counties.
“One person distributing this drug [being taken] off the streets could mean less overdoses and maybe prevent a death,” Watts said. “It sends a message.”
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt.