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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               CONTACT: Melvin Smith
June 21, 2011                                                                                                                   melvin.smith@usdoj.gov

HUNTINGTON WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG DISTRIBUTION

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Rachele L. Brown, 36, of Huntington, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to conspiracy to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.  Brown admitted that on June 25, 2010, she and an associate sold 20 40-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in exchange for $500.  The transaction occurred at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington.  Also, on June 29, 2010, the defendant, along with two other associates sold 20 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent working for the ATF, in exchange for $950.  Brown also admitted that on July 14, 2010, she and an associate sold 30 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent in exchange for $1,425.  

Brown further admitted to arranging the sale of oxycodone pills to an undercover agent on two additional occasions in August 2010.   On August 3, 2010, Brown’s associate sold 19 80-milligram pills to an undercover agent in exchange for $855 and on August 12, 2010, two of the defendant’s associates sold 50 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent in exchange for 2,200.  

Brown faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when she is sentenced on October 24, 2011. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney William King is in charge of the prosecution. 

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 was also 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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