A well-known Haywood County drug trafficker has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in Georgia Federal Court.

Christopher Wayne Best, 36, was initially arrested in Lula, Georgia in June 2017 after skipping out on a trial in Haywood County, where he was facing drug trafficking and weapons charges, along with a charge for failing to appear for his trial. At the time of his arrest in Georgia, Best had drugs, a rifle and cash on him. He was initially charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of MDMA with the intent to distribute, possession of firearm by convicted felon, theft by receiving stolen firearm and providing false information to officer.

“Officers developed information leading to Christopher Wayne Best at a residence in Hall County where he was found in possession of approximately 1 pound (approximately 454 grams) of methamphetamine, 14 MDMA pills, 1 rifle (reported stolen), and $1000.00 in cash,” a press release sent out at the time of Best’s arrest reads. “The total street value of the seized narcotics was approximately $45,680.00.”

Friday, months after pleading guilty in a Gainesville, Georgia Federal Court, Best was sentenced 15 years in prison, along with eight additional years of supervised release.

District Attorney Ashley Welch’s office has monitored how Best’s federal case played out to see whether they will continue to pursue their criminal case against him in Haywood County. As of Tuesday morning, Welch said they didn’t know whether that would happen. She said there were several factors she would consider when making that decision.

Basically, it comes down to weighing the sentence he already has against the sentence he could potentially receive here and whether it is worth further stretching the District Attorney’s Office’s already thin resources. In addition, Welch said it can sometimes be difficult to transfer an inmate from federal custody to local custody just so he can stand trial.

“That’s an added complication,” she said. “But we’ll do is see what all we’re dealing with, and then we’ll make our determination.”

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