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Heroin trafficker faces 5 years in prison

A man who made more than $15,000 bringing nearly a pound of heroin from California to Southern Oregon faces five years in prison.

James Robert Thomas faces a 63-month prison sentence for his admitted role bringing about 400 grams of heroin to the Medford area between December 2016 and November 2017 as part of a large-scale drug trafficking organization, according to documents filed this week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in U.S. District Court in Medford ahead of a sentencing hearing.

Thomas and a since-convicted co-defendant reportedly distributed large quantities of heroin at Medford area motel rooms, according to federal prosecutors.

“In return for their distribution into the community, Thomas earned $15,200,” U.S. attorneys say.

On Jan. 5, 2018, the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force served a search warrant on Thomas and Hall’s motel room at America’s Best Value Inn in Phoenix, where police found 559 grams of heroin, digital scales, a phone and $16,782 in cash.

In October, Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiracy with intent to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin. His sentencing hearing is set for April 18 in Medford, court records show. Co-defendant Sheridan Joshua Hall was sentenced to five years in prison March 26.

Thomas and Hall were working for alleged ringleader Gharrett Paul Parker of Northern California. Parker was captured last June following a raid at a Yreka motel during which he reportedly jumped out of a second-story window. In earlier news reports, Medford police, which had a hand in the raid as part of MADGE, along with the FBI and Yreka police, described Parker as “a hard one to touch.” Parker remains held in the Jackson County Jail facing felony drug conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Drug syringe and cooked heroin on spoon