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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          June 1, 2012                   


Defendant’s Husband Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison Earlier This Week; Couple Had Over 2500 Pills

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Hope Lanita Jackson-Forsythe, 41, of Winchester, Calif., was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone and oxymorphone.  Forsythe previously pleaded guilty in February.  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 Forsythe and her husband Edwardo M. Forsythe.  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 by the defendant and her husband at the time. 

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.  Mrs. Forsythe admitted to possessing the controlled substances.

“When people travel all the way across the country to sell pain pills, it dramatically illustrates how bad the prescription drug problem is,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “This couple made a big mistake when they picked Huntington as the place to peddle their drugs.” 

Goodwin continued, “We’ve made a lot of progress fighting crime and getting pill dealers off the streets in Huntington, and we don’t intend to slow down.”   

Mrs. Forsythe’s husband, Edwardo Manuell Forsythe, 38, also of Winchester, Calif., was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison on Tuesday for aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone and oxymorphone.

The investigation was conducted by the Huntington Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey handled the prosecution.  United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over today’s sentencing.

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, remains 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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