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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Aug. 10, 2012                   

WOOD COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL OXYCODONE CHARGE

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that a Wood County man pleaded guilty in federal court to distribution of oxycodone.  Nathanael Thomas, 23, of Vienna, W.Va., admitted that on May 3, 2012, he sold 13 30-milligram oxycodone pills to a confidential informant working with the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force in exchange for $400.  Following the controlled buy, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and recovered the recorded buy money, along with additional money and a .40 caliber pistol.  Thomas further admitted that on February 3, 2012, he sold five 30-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant working with the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force in exchange for $185.  The defendant also admitted that two separate occasions on February 8, 2012, he sold five 30-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant in exchange for a total of $400.  Both of the illegal pill transactions occurred at the defendant’s Vienna residence.   

Thomas faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on December 5, 2012 by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. 

The Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution. 

This case is being 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 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is 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. 

This case is also being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

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