FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2012
GOODWIN ANNOUNCES SENTENCING OF TEN DRUG DEALERS IN BLUEFIELD PILL INITIATIVE
One Dealer Admitted Selling 10,000 Pills in a Year
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Ten Mercer County residents were sentenced this week in federal court for illegally distributing prescription drugs and other illegal narcotics, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. The charges against each defendant were brought as a part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative, which is a part of a comprehensive plan aimed at eliminating the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in the southern region of West Virginia. Goodwin announced the Initiative in June 2011.
“Prescription drug abuse has ravaged families and communities across the country. No place has been hit any harder than the area around Bluefield,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin.
“Last year, I announced the Bluefield Pill Initiative, which was aimed directly at the people responsible for that damage,” Goodwin continued. “Today, I’m glad to announce we’re turning the tide. This week’s sentences take ten Bluefield-area pill dealers off the streets. One of these dealers admitted to selling over 10,000 pills in a year. Getting these criminals out of the community is a great start, and we’re going to keep up the pressure in the months ahead.
“The Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force has done an outstanding job here,” said Goodwin, “and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we attack this problem.”
United States District Judge David A. Faber sentenced the following defendants yesterday (5/29):
- Thomas Sheppheard, 34, of Pipestem, W.Va., sentenced to 15 months in prison for distributing hydromorphone (commonly known as Dilaudid);
- Steven C. Alt, 29, of Keyser, W.Va., sentenced to 10 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of hydromorphone;
- Ashley Hylton, 21, of Bluefield, W.Va., who admitted to selling over 10,000 hydromorphone pills in a year and was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and three years’ probation; and
- Roger Lee Stables, Jr., 45, of Montcalm, W.Va., sentenced to 21 months in prison for distributing marijuana in a case prosecuted under the Bluefield Pill Initiative.
United States District Judge David A. Faber sentenced the following defendants today (5/30):
- Latosha Lynette Brown, 29, of Bluefield, W.Va., sentenced to 3 years of probation for distributing hydromorphone;
- Viney Jean Stables, 32, of Montcalm, W.Va., sentenced to 15 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone;
- Chanty Annette Green, 30, of Bluefield, W.Va., sentenced to 12 months in prison for distributing hydromorphone;
- Michael W. McBride, 36, of Lerona, W.Va., sentenced to 18 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of hydromorphone;
- Katie Slaughter, 23, of Princeton, W.Va., sentenced to 6 months in prison for distributing hydromorphone; and
- Niketa Whittaker, 22, of, Athens, W.Va., sentenced to 13 months in prison for distributing hydromorphone.
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.