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News Release
Medford Area Drug Trafficking Investigations Result in Three Federal Prison Sentences - 12/05/23

MEDFORD, Ore.—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced today that three federal prison sentences have been imposed this week in separate criminal cases following multi-agency drug trafficking investigations in and around Medford.

James Michael Cody Whelchel, 41, of Carson, California, was sentenced Monday to 130 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Earl Richard Shamblin III, 41, of Medford, was also sentenced Monday to 45 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

Terril Jacob Boss, 43, of Reno, Nevada, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

U.S. v. Whelchel

According to court documents, in July 2021, local law enforcement officers received information that Whelchel, a known drug trafficker with a lengthy criminal history, was dealing drugs in the Medford area. Further investigation revealed that Whelchel was running his local drug trafficking operation from an area motel. After observing multiple individuals come and go from his motel room, investigators arrested Whelchel. At the time of his arrest, Whelchel possessed three cell phones, several syringes, and approximately $3,600 in cash.

Investigators located two 9mm pistols, a digital scale, and small quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, and unidentified pills in Whelchel’s vehicle. A search of his motel room returned more than two and a half pounds of methamphetamine, approximately one pound of powdered fentanyl, a smaller quantity of heroin, more than $51,000 in cash, and two firearms.

On September 2, 2021, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a three-count indictment charging Whelchel with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl. On August 14, 2023, he pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

U.S. v. Shamblin

Between November 11, 2019, and January 19, 2021, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of heroin from Shamblin, a known Jackson County, Oregon drug trafficker. On February 17, 2021, investigators arrested Shamblin and found digital scales, drug packaging material, records of drug transactions, and more than $4,000 in cash in his RV and on his person. The next day, on February 18, 2021, investigators obtained a recorded jail call on which Shamblin coordinated with other individuals to move and conceal a large sum of cash (later seized by law enforcement) and bury heroin in the backyard of his then residence.

On February 26, 2021, Shamblin was charged by federal criminal complaint with unlawfully possessing and distributing heroin. Later, on March 3, 2022, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a five-count indictment charging him with distributing heroin. On September 7, 2023, Shamblin pleaded guilty to one count of distributing heroin.

U.S. v. Boss

On July 21, 2020, area law enforcement obtained information that Boss, who was in possession of methamphetamine and a firearm, was located in a fast-food parking lot in White City, Oregon. A responding deputy approached Boss and told him he was being detained as part of a drug trafficking investigation. After initially denying he was armed, Boss told the deputy he had a weapon, but refused to say where it was located. Boss then began to reach for his waistband and a struggle to detain him ensued. After repeatedly ordering Boss not to reach for his waistband, Boss grabbed a firearm he possessed and was shot twice by the responding deputies. He was immediately taken to an area hospital, treated, and then booked in the Jackson County Jail.

Three days later, on July 24, 2020, investigators executed search warrants on Boss’s truck and motorcycle. They located and seized quantities of heroin and methamphetamine in his truck and a large zipper bag with heroin and methamphetamine concealed in the gas tank of his motorcycle. They also found digital scales and drug packaging materials. Later the same day, Boss was charged by federal criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

On April 15, 2021, a federal grand jury in Medford indicted Boss on the same charges and, on July 5, 2023, he pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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All three cases were investigated by the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team (MADGE). Local MADGE member agencies were assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Oregon State Police. Whelchel was prosecuted by Judith R. Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. Shamblin and Boss were prosecuted by March A. Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

MADGE is a gang and narcotics enforcement team comprised of local, state, and federal investigators that work together to dismantle drug trafficking and other criminal organizations operating in and around Jackson County, Oregon. MADGE member agencies include the Medford Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices, Jackson County Community Corrections, HSI, and FBI.

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