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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               CONTACT: Melvin Smith
June 20, 2011                                                                                                                   melvin.smith@usdoj.gov

CABELL COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL FIREARM POSSESSION AND
OXYCODONE CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Drew Allen Paugh, 27, of LeSage, Cabell County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to illegal possession of a firearm by a drug addict and distribution of oxycodone.  Paugh admitted that on July 27, 2010, he arrived at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington and agreed to arrange a drug transaction of 100 80-milligram oxycodone tablets with an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  The defendant further admitted to making a telephone call to an associate, who arrived at the same location a short time later to complete the transaction.  Prior to the pill transaction, Paugh admitted to taking one of the pills from his associate.  The associate subsequently sold the remaining 99 oxycodone pills to an undercover ATF agent in exchange for $4059. 

Also, on September 2, 2010, the defendant contacted an undercover ATF agent and stated that he had a revolver for sale.  After contacting the undercover agent, Paugh arrived at the Smokin’ Aces store to complete the firearm sale.  Paugh admitted to selling a .38 caliber revolver to a law enforcement agent in exchange for $75.  At the time the defendant sold the firearm, he was an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances.  Paugh also admitted to participating in 20 additional drug sales at the Smokin’ Aces store between May and September 2010.  The drugs sold included amounts of oxycodone pills, crack cocaine, and heroin. 

Paugh faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1,250,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 11, 2011. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of a yearlong undercover operation that targeted illegal drugs and firearms crimes in the Huntington area. The operation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and assisted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Huntington Police Department, and various other law enforcement agencies. It was announced to the public in March after a grand jury returned indictments against 55 defendants.

This case is also being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey is in charge of the prosecution. 

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