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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

February 8, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fairmont Resident Enters Pleas to Drug Charge
and Witness Tampering Charge

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA - A 21 year old Fairmont, West Virginia, resident, entered pleas of guilty on February 7, 2011, in United States District Court in Clarksburg before Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that SHELDON HAMPTON entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 28 grams of cocaine base from September of 2009 to February 3, 2010, in the Fairmont area; and one count of tampering with a witness in that investigation while both were incarcerated at the North Central Regional Jail in Greenwood, West Virginia, on November 29, 2010.

HAMPTON is the fifth individual to plead guilty in an investigation conducted by the Three Rivers Drug Task Force in early 2010 of a Fairmont residence from which cocaine and cocaine base was being distributed. After making a controlled buy from the residence, a search warrant was executed in which officers seized $3,694.00 in drug proceeds, cocaine base, cocaine, and digital scales. As part of his plea, HAMPTON admitted his involvement with more than 1 1/4 pounds of cocaine and more than 1 ounce of cocaine base, and further agreed to the forfeiture of the $3,694.00 in drug proceeds. Just prior to his trial on the drug charges, which was set for December 7, 2010, HAMPTON attacked a fellow prisoner who was to be a witness at his trial, in an attempt to keep the witness from testifying.

HAMPTON, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on the drug charge; and a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on the charge of tampering with a witness.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr.

The Three Rivers Drug Task Force consists of officers from the Fairmont Police Department and the Monongah Police Department.

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