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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          June 4, 2012                   

TWO MORE MERCER RESIDENTS SENTENCED IN FEDERAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG CRACKDOWN

Today’s Sentencings Follow Ten Others Last Week

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Two Mercer County residents were sentenced today in federal court for illegally distributing prescription drugs.  Roman Brandon Simmons, 28, of Bluefield, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for distributing hydromorphone, a powerful prescription painkiller better known as Dilaudid.  Simmons previously pleaded guilty in September.  Simmons admitted he sold hydromorphone to a confidential informant working with the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.  The illegal pill transaction took place in Bluefield. 

Also, Regina Frye, 42, of Princeton, was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and three years’ probation for distributing hydromorphone.  Frye previously pleaded guilty in January.  Frye similarly admitted she sold hydromorphone to an informant working with the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.  Frye’s illegal pill transaction took place in Princeton. 

“Twelve pill dealers have been sentenced in the past week, underscoring my commitment to crack down on illegal pill dealers in Bluefield and its surrounding region.  We’re pleased with our progress, but we’re far from finished. We’ll keep attacking this problem in all corners of southern West Virginia,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin.

Last week, ten drug dealers were sentenced for illegally distributing prescription drugs and other illegal narcotics as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative.  Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over each sentencing. 

The Bluefield Pill Initiative is a collaborative, multi-agency regional law enforcement effort designed to halt prescription drug trafficking in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties.  The Bluefield Pill Initiative is led by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation; the Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Bluefield and Princeton Police Departments.  Assistant United States Attorneys Miller Bushong and John File handled the prosecutions.  

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