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Detectives found loaded .38 caliber pistol hidden in toddler’s bed at defendant’s home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin today announced that Thomas Henry Banks, Jr., also known as “Fat Cat,” 40, of South Charleston, W.Va., pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute oxymorphone hydrochloride, also known as “Opana,” and to distribution of oxycodone.  Officers from the Metro Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) received a tip that the defendant had illegal prescription painkillers and went to his South Charleston home to investigate.  There, law enforcement officers found a fully loaded .38 caliber pistol hidden in a toddler’s bed, as well as 165 40-milligram Opana pills and 81 30-milligram oxycodone pills in the defendant’s bedroom.  Three individuals from Detroit identified as associates of the defendant were present at the time the search was executed by law enforcement.  

“A pistol hidden in a toddler’s bed dramatically illustrates how the prescription drug epidemic has damaged families,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “It’s a sobering reminder of the importance of getting this problem under control.”

Banks also admitted that $2,851 in cash found in his bedroom by law enforcement officers was money from illegal drug transactions.

Banks faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on September 27, 2012 by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. 

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman 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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