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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          August 16, 2011                   

LOGAN COUNTY FATHER AND SON SENTENCED TO PRISON ON FEDERAL OXYCODONE CHARGES

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Logan County father and son were sentenced today in federal court by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.on oxycodone charges. Ernest J. Vance, Sr., 62, of Verdunville, Logan County, West Virginia, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone. The defendant’s son, Ernest J. Vance, Jr., 35, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone. Vance Jr. admitted that on September 18, 2009, he and an associate aided and abetted by each other, sold two 40-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant working for the US 119 Task Force in exchange for $110 cash. 

Between sometime prior to June 2008 until March 29, 2010, both Ernest Vance Sr. and Vance Jr., along with several known associates, conspired with each other to distribute and sell oxycodone for profit in and around Verdunville, Logan County.  Vance Sr. admitted that he maintained the 16 Hill residence located in Verdunville as his home and as a place for himself and his co-conspirators, including his son, Ernest Jr., to sell oxycodone and other controlled substances.  On December 8, 2009, Vance Sr. sold three and one-half 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant in exchange for $350 and on December 10, 2009, he sold three 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant in exchange for $300.    

On December 9, 2009, Ernest Sr., aided and abetted by an associate, distributed four and one-half 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant working for the US 119 Task Force in exchange for $600.  Both Vance Sr. and Jr. admitted that the distribution of oxycodone primarily occurred at the 16 Hill residence, but also took place at several other known locations in and around Logan County.  Both defendants admitted that they maintained only a small amount of oxycodone at the Verdunville residence in the event that law enforcement agents arrived at the location. 

Vance Sr. also admitted that he sold three 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an informant in exchange for $300 on March 15, 2010 and on March 29, 2010, aided and abetted by an associate, he sold one-half of an 80-milligram oxycodone pill to an informant in exchange for $50.  

The conspiracy is responsible for the distribution of more than 5,000 and up to 18,000 Oxycontin 80-milligram pills in and around Verdunville, Logan County, West Virginia.

This investigation was conducted by the US 119 Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney William King 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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