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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Feb. 27, 2012                   

CALIFORNIA COUPLE PLEAD GUILTY TO OXYCODONE POSSESSION CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A California man and woman pleaded guilty pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to felony oxycodone charges.   Edwardo Manuell Forsythe, 38, and Hope Lanita Jackson-Forsythe, 41, both of Winchester, Calif., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone and oxymorphone.  On August 22, 2011, a law enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle along Route 60 in Huntington, occupied at the time by both defendants and an associate.  During the traffic stop, officers performed a pat-down search of Mr. Forsythe which subsequently revealed 100 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and 50 40-milligram oxymorphone tablets on his person.  Following the traffic stop, law enforcement conducted a search of a Huntington-area hotel room that was rented at the time by the defendants.  During the hotel room search, agents seized 2281 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and 150 40-milligram tablets that were stored in various containers around the room.  According to their plea agreements, both defendants admitted to possessing the controlled substances.

Both defendants face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when they are sentenced on May 29, 2012. 

The investigation was conducted by the Huntington Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey is in charge of the prosecutions. 

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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