OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
January 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reedsville Resident Enters Pleas of Guilty
to Drug and Firearms Charges
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 40 year old Reedsville, West Virginia, resident entered pleas of guilty on January 15, 2009, in United States District Court in Clarksburg before Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull.
United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that JAMIE SISLER pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana from the Fall of 2004 to August 7, 2008, in Reedsville, Preston County, West Virginia; and one count of being an unlawful user of marijuana in possession of firearms on October 16, 2008, in Reedsville. SISLER, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of five to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on the conspiracy charge and 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on the firearms charge. SISLER agreed to the forfeiture of 1) $42,568 in currency; 2) eight firearms; 3) a 2005 Toyota truck; 4) a Yamaha Rhino ATV; and, 5) real estate used to facilitate his drug dealing (residence in Reedsville) or $25,000.
According to the evidence presented in Court, an investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, identified SISLER as one of several individuals in a large scale marijuana distribution ring responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of marijuana in Monongalia and Preston Counties between 2004 and 2008. SISLER is the second person to enter a guilty plea in the investigation. (Oscar Ramirez, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced in Federal Court in Clarksburg in December 2008 after admitting to being involved in the distribution of 2000 pounds of marijuana in this case).
As stated in Court, in May, 2007, SISLER was identified as a multiple pound dealer of marijuana who sold the marijuana from his residence in Reedsville, Preston County. A search warrant was executed at the residence at that time and agents found approximately nine (9) pounds of marijuana, most of which was packaged individually in ½ pound quantities. Numerous firearms, security equipment with time lapse capability for monitoring the security of the house, and drug ledgers reflecting drug debts well in excess of $100,000 were also seized.
The investigation further led to Morgantown, West Virginia, and in the Fall of 2007 and January 2008, additional search warrants were executed at storage units and three residences in Morgantown and Star City, West Virginia. Approximately 600 pounds of marijuana (with a street value of approximately $2,000,000), $4400, and scales for weighing the marijuana were seized in those searches.
Despite law enforcement activity, SISLER continued his involvement in marijuana distribution and in October, 2008, he attempted to purchase 30 pounds of marijuana for $30,000. Unbenownst to SISLER, law enforcement had set up a controlled “sting” operation to deliver the marijuana and SISLER was then arrested. A search warrant executed at SISLER’s home on October 18, 2008, discovered marijuana, firearms, drug paraphernalia, security cameras, and an additional $12,568 in currency.
As part of SISLER’s guilty plea, he admitted involvement in the distribution of between 100 and 400 kilograms of marijuana (220 and 880 pounds). He also pled guilty to being an unlawful user of marijuana in possession of firearms, a federal offense.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr. In addition to the lead agencies noted above, the investigation received the assistance from the Monongalia and Preston County Prosecuting Attorneys’ Offices, Westover Police Department, Granville Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Joliet (Illinois) Police Department, and the Preston County Sheriff’s Department.
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