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R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               CONTACT: Melvin Smith
June 9, 2011                                                                                                         


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Ersel Prince Jr., 61, of Neibert, Logan County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Prince admitted that on three occasions in February and March of this year that he distributed quantities of oxycodone. He also admitted that over the last two years he sold at least four hundred (400) 80mg OxyContin pills, at least five hundred (500) to six hundred (600) 30mg Roxicodone pills and three hundred (300) to four hundred (400) 40mg OxyContin pills. The defendant further admitted that he had numerous firearms positioned at various locations throughout his residence for his protection in the conduct of his drug distribution activities.

Prince faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on September 28, 2011. 

This case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police.  United States Attorney Booth Goodwin is in charge of 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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