News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Oct. 17, 2011                   


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Ryan Carroll Melton, 25, of Putnam County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.  Melton admitted that during the fall of 2010 through February 2011, he conspired with other individuals to obtain oxycodone tablets from sources in Florida for the purpose of distributing the tablets in and around Winfield, West Virginia.  Melton admitted that on December 7, 2010, he sold four 30-milligram oxycodone tablets to an informant working for the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) in exchange for $160.  The defendant also admitted that on January 13, 2011 and January 21, 2011, he sold four 30-milligram oxycodone tablets to an informant in exchange for $140 on both occasions.  On January 31, 2011, following a pre-arranged agreement made by telephone, Melton sold two 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and a Marlin rifle to an informant.  The defendant further admitted that an associate delivered the rifle and oxycodone to the informant and accepted $130 in exchange for the rifle and $80 for the oxycodone.  On February 3, 2011, MDENT investigators executed search warrants at the defendant’s residence and business where they recovered several stolen firearms from the residence and one oxycodone 30-millgram tablet from the business.  Melton further admitted that between November 8, 2010 and February 4, 2011, he had received 12 packages containing oxycodone tablets from an individual from Tampa, Florida.  The packages typically held approximately 100 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and on at least one occasion, the defendant received a package containing 400 30-milligram oxycodone tablets.     

Melton faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on January 23, 2012. 

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. 

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) Putnam County conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is in charge of the prosecution. 

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