News and Press Releases


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          August 4, 2011                   


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Bradley Eric Backus, 31, of Mount Nebo, Nicholas County, West Virginia, was sentenced today to six years in prison and three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston for distribution of oxycodone.  Backus admitted that he participated in a drug trafficking enterprise previously based in Craigsville, West Virginia, which distributed quantities of oxycodone during 2008 until June 2010.  The defendant further admitted that on June 28, 2010, he sold approximately 1.5 oxycodone tablets (80mg each) to an informant working for the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force (CWVDTF) in exchange for $160.  In addition, the informant paid the defendant $200 for an outstanding debt that was owed from an earlier drug transaction.  The transaction took place at the Craigsville residence of co-defendant, Chrissy A. May.  

On June 29, 2010, members of the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force (CWVDTF) executed a search warrant at May’s residence where they seized four firearms, three whole and six partial 80-milligram oxycodone tablets, a small amount of marijuana, and a Sentry safe.  On the same day, the CWVDTF executed a search warrant for the contents of the Sentry safe.  Investigators seized approximately $21,651 cash that included $480 in task force funds used during controlled drug purchases, approximately 550 80-milligram oxycodone tablets, nearly 43 hydrocodone tablets, 91 Valium tablets, and two 9-millimeter pistols. 

On June 30, 2010, Backus gave a voluntary statement to CWVDTF investigators implicating himself in the drug trafficking enterprise and also named May and other individuals from Detroit as participants.  The defendant acknowledged that he had been involved in drug activities with May for more than two years and that she received in excess of 2,000 oxycodone tablets per month. 

May, 33, was sentenced in July to 87 months in federal prison for her role in the conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

This case was investigated by the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force (CWVDTF).  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. 

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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