Booth Goodwin was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia by President Barack Obama on May 27, 2010. Goodwin is a native of Ripley, West Virginia, where he attended public school. Goodwin graduated with honors from West Virginia University where he earned a degree in economics. Goodwin received his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. During his final year of law school, Goodwin served as Student Bar Association president and he advanced to the national American Bar Association negotiation competition.
After law school, Goodwin practiced for five years with the Charleston law firm of Goodwin & Goodwin, LLP where he engaged in commercial and personal injury litigation, closed multi-million dollar bond transactions, filed reports with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and handled numerous commercial and residential real estate transactions. For example, while in private practice, Goodwin obtained a jury award of in excess of $100,000 for a woman injured at a local mall and served as bond counsel for the Kanawha County Board of Education with respect to the bond issue that funded a new high school and additions to a number of other county schools.
In January 2001, Goodwin was appointed and sworn in as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia and served in that position until his appointment as United States Attorney in May 2010. During his tenure as Assistant United States Attorney, Goodwin prosecuted numerous cases of regional and national significance. He previously served as the Chief of Economic Crimes Section. He also served as the office's lead computer hacking and intellectual property crimes prosecutor.
Among his most significant prosecutions are the following:
Goodwin led a public corruption investigation which began publicly with the successful prosecution of Logan County Magistrate Danny Wells on charges of racketeering. Over a dozen witnesses testified that Wells told them that a special non-refundable cash bond was required in their cases. Wells would then release the individual from custody on "personal recognizance" bond, a bond that does not require any payment of money. Wells was convicted after a weeklong trial and sentenced to over seven years in prison. The investigation also ensnared long-time Logan, West Virginia Mayor, Thomas Esposito. Esposito pled guilty and cooperated in the investigation which further yielded guilty pleas from Logan County Sheriff Johnny Mendez to charges of vote buying and Logan County attorney, Mark Hrutkay, on mail fraud charges. The investigation also netted former Logan Police Chief, Alvin Porter, Jr., who resigned his post and pled guilty to vote buying charges filed by Goodwin. Additionally, Earnest Stapleton, the head of a local VFW Post, pled guilty to mail fraud charges concerning the operation of an illegal lottery. Stapleton's criminal proceeds were used in part to make illegal campaign contributions. Also, in connection with the investigation, former Logan County Clerk, Glen Dale Adkins, pled guilty to vote buying. In all, the four year investigation yielded nine convictions. In recognition of his efforts in the investigation and prosecutions arising there from, Goodwin was awarded a United States Department of Justice Director's Award.
Goodwin prosecuted and convicted the "Target Child Molester." Goodwin led a joint state-federal investigation and prosecution of Allen Coates. Goodwin obtained a federal indictment charging Coates with crossing a state line with the intent to engage in a sex act with a person under 12 years of age. Goodwin coordinated the transfer of the federal child pornography charges from the Western District of Kentucky to the Southern District of West Virginia. Ultimately, Coates was adjudged guilty of the federal charges and sentenced to serve 25 years in federal prison and the rest of his life on supervised release. The sentence of lifetime supervised release was among the first in the country.
Goodwin convinced a federal jury that Matthew Dulaney robbed a bank near Parkersburg, West Virginia. A masked Dulaney entered the bank and demanded money from a teller. Before he left, Dulaney attached a bank bag containing a cylindrical object to the teller's thumb using a set of "thumb cuffs." Dulaney told the teller not to move, that the bag he attached to her contained a bomb. Luckily, the "bomb" turned out to have been faked. However, Dulaney was able to flee the scene in a small white car which was found abandoned about a mile from the bank. Dulaney was found guilty and sentenced to over 11 years in prison.
Goodwin and another federal prosecutor tried Marvin Spry on charges of drug distribution, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Spry led a drug conspiracy to distribute in excess of 3000 pounds of marijuana and 60 pounds of cocaine. Nineteen witnesses testified in the week-long trial. The witnesses included the individual that served as one of Spry's suppliers as well as a number of the dealers in Spry's drug network. Spry operated from a compound on Twelve Pole Creek in Mingo County. Spry was convicted and sentenced to 140 years in prison.
Goodwin led the investigation and prosecution of five individuals who conspired to steal a tractor-trailer load of cigarettes worth in excess of $1.7 million. The individuals traveled from Miami, Florida to a cigarette plant in North Carolina. The group followed a truck leaving the plant until the truck reached the Morton rest area on the West Virginia turnpike. When the driver left the truck to go into the rest area, two of the individuals broke into the truck and "hot-wired" it. The two were apprehended at the Marmet exit a short time later by an alert West Virginia State Trooper. The two who were apprehended cooperated and gave the names of the three other individuals involved. All of the defendants pled guilty. Goodwin has also prosecuted numerous cases involving tax fraud, felons in possession of firearms, and receipt and possession of child pornography.
Goodwin has served on the board of directors of what is now West Virginia Legal Services, a statewide organization that serves the poor. He served on the board of directors of the Kanawha County chapter of the West Virginia University Alumni Association. He also served on the board of directors of the Friends of Sunrise Museum. Goodwin lives in Charleston, West Virginia, with his wife, Amy Shuler Goodwin, and their two sons, Joe and Sam.