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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Nov. 7, 2011                   


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Britt Ellison Nichols, 52, of Detroit, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston for distribution of oxycodone.  Nichols pleaded guilty in June.  The defendant admitted that on April 14, 2010, he traveled from Detroit to Charleston, West Virginia for the purpose of distributing oxycodone tablets to a confidential informant working for the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force.  The defendant further admitted that at the time, he had approximately 950 to 970 80-milligram oxycodone tablets and approximately 30 40-milligram oxycodone tablets in his possession.  The same day, Nichols arrived at the Holiday Inn Express located in Charleston and gave the informant a quantity of oxycodone tablets.  Following the drug transaction, the defendant was arrested by law enforcement officers and the oxycodone tablets were retrieved.  Nichols waived his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed.  The defendant admitted that four to seven months prior to April 14, 2010, he made at least four trips to Charleston.  The defendant further admitted that he delivered at least 250 80-milligram oxycodone tablets to an informant on each occasion.          

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. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. 

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