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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Aug. 1, 2013                   

GOODWIN ANNOUNCES EIGHT GUILTY PLEAS IN FEDERAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG CRACKDOWN

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Seven residents from Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming counties and one Virginia resident pleaded guilty in federal court this week in connection with an illegal prescription drug distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  The charges against each defendant were brought as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative, a concerted attack by federal, state, and local government on the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in the southern region of West Virginia.  The initiative was announced by U.S. Attorney Goodwin in June 2011.

The following defendants pleaded guilty today, August 1, to using a telephone to commit a drug crime: Eric Lee Flack, 34, of Bluefield; Lori Megan Falls, 29, of Princeton; Kathy Burchett, 38, of Welch, McDowell County; and, Eric M. Tiller, 41, of Princeton. The telephone calls that were made by each defendant involved the distribution of oxycodone.

The following defendant pleaded guilty on Wednesday, July 31, to using a telephone to commit a drug crime: Anthony Lee Madison, 23, of Bluefield, Va.  The telephone call that was made by the defendant also involved the distribution of oxycodone.

The following defendants pleaded guilty on Tuesday, July 30, to using a telephone to commit a drug crime: Danny Lee Decker, 42, of Mullens, Wyoming County; and, Edgar Junior Ponce, 32, of Oceana, Wyoming County. Similarly, the telephone calls that were made by each defendant involved the distribution of oxycodone.

Each defendant faces up to four years in federal prison when they are sentenced in December.   

Also, Aaron O. Gamble, 30, of Princeton, Mercer County, W.Va., pleaded guilty on Monday, July 29, to distribution of oxycodone.  In September 2012, Gamble distributed oxycodone to a confidential informant working in cooperation with the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Gamble faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in December.   

The Bluefield Pill Initiative is a collaborative, multi-agency regional law enforcement effort designed to halt prescription drug trafficking in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming counties.  The Bluefield Pill Initiative is led by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Bluefield and Princeton Police Departments. 

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