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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Sept. 16, 2013                   

PENNSYLVANIA PILL DEALER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL OXYCODONE POSSESSION CHARGE

MDENT agents found prescription pain pills, firearms and cash at ‘stash houses’ during investigation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A 31-year-old Allentown, PA, man pleaded guilty to his role in an illegal oxycodone distribution scheme in Charleston, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Walter Parris, also known as “Panna,” pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone and alprazolam, also known as “Xanax.”  

On April 29, 2012, members of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) executed a search warrant on 723 Garvin Street located in Charleston, based on officers’ probable cause that prescription pills were being sold out of the residence. During the execution of the search warrant, agents spotted Parris and several of his associates at 721 ½ Garvin Street, a nearby residence.  Parris was taken into police custody based on an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  Police later conducted a search of the residence and found a set of luggage that belonged to Parris.  A search of the luggage revealed a loaded .25 caliber pistol with a chambered round and numerous paper documents bearing Parris’ name. 

Using several investigative leads, agents determined that Parris and his associate used the 723 Garvin Street residence to distribute their pills but maintained a “stash house” to store their prescription pain pills at 818 West Avenue in Charleston.   MDENT agents also discovered that a door key, found in Parris’ associate’s pocket at the time of his arrest, matched the bottom and top lock for the 818 West Avenue residence.  A search warrant was executed on that residence.  Police found a .45 caliber pistol, $3,740 cash, 520 Xanax pills, 93 oxycodone pills, marijuana and paper documents linked to Parris.         

Parris faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on December 18, 2013 by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. 

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 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is 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 also brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

The investigation was conducted by MDENT.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution. 

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