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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Oct. 24, 2011                   

HUNTINGTON MAN AND WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON ON OXYCODONE DISTRIBUTION CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Rachele L. Brown, 36, of Huntington, was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for conspiracy to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.  Brown admitted that on June 25, 2010, she and an associate sold 20 40-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in exchange for $500.  The transaction occurred at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington. 

Brown further admitted to arranging the sale of oxycodone pills to an undercover agent on two additional occasions in August 2010.   On August 3, 2010, Brown’s associate sold 19 80-milligram pills to an undercover agent in exchange for $855 and on August 12, 2010, two of the defendant’s associates sold 50 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent in exchange for $2,200.  

Co-defendant Joshua Burrell, 27, of Huntington, was also sentenced yesterday to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.  Burrell admitted that on June 29, 2010, he, along with two associates, sold 20 80-milligram oxycodone pills to an undercover agent working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in exchange for $950.  The transaction occurred at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington.  Burrell further admitted that on July 14, 2010, he and an associate spoke to an undercover ATF agent by telephone to arrange a drug transaction and subsequently sold 30 80-milligram oxycodone pills to the agent in exchange for $1,425.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney William King handled the prosecution. 

This case was prosecuted as part of a yearlong undercover operation that targeted illegal drugs and firearms crimes in the Huntington area. The operation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and assisted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Huntington Police Department, and various other law enforcement agencies. It was announced to the public in March after a grand jury returned indictments against 55 defendants.

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. 

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