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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          April 23, 2013                   


Detectives found a loaded .38 caliber pistol hidden in toddler’s bed at the defendant’s home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A 40-year-old man who possessed thousands of dollars in cash, hundreds of powerful prescription painkillers, and a loaded firearm inside a toddler’s bed at his South Charleston residence was sentenced today to 27 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Thomas Henry Banks, Jr., also known as “Fat Cat,” 40, of South Charleston, W.Va., previously pleaded guilty in June 2012 to possession with intent to distribute oxymorphone hydrochloride, also known as “Opana,” and oxycodone, also known as “Roxicodone”.  Law enforcement agents from the Metro Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) received a tip that the defendant possessed illegal prescription painkillers and went to his South Charleston home to investigate.  At the residence, law enforcement officers found a fully loaded .38 caliber pistol hidden in a toddler’s bed, as well as 165 40-milligram Opana pills and 81 30-milligram oxycodone pills in the defendant’s bedroom. 

The $2,851 in cash seized from the defendant’s bedroom was proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman handled the prosecution.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. 

This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, remain committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

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