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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

Friday, October 11, 2019

Detroit man admits to his involvement in an oxycodone distribution operation

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Terry Thomas, of Detroit, Michigan, has admitted to multiple charges involving an oxycodone distribution operation that spanned two states and four North Central West Virginia counties, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Thomas, also known as “Top,” age 47, pled guilty to one count of “ Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone,” one count of “Money Laundering Conspiracy,” 19 counts of “Distribution of Oxycodone,” 11 counts of “Aiding and Abetting Distribution of Oxycodone,” and one count of “Distribution of Cocaine Base.”  Thomas, the ringleader of the operation, worked with his co-conspirators to distribute more than 500,000 oxycodone pills in Monongalia County and elsewhere for four years, from the summer of 2013 to June 2017.

“Our prosecution team and law enforcement partners have done incredible work on this investigation. Detroit and other locations outside of West Virginia have long been suppliers of pain and suffering , through their illegal drug operations. We will continue to have zero tolerance for these operations and aggressively dismantle and destroy  them. Dozens of people are now paying for their activities with long prison sentences. Job well done,” said Powell.

Thomas faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each of the drug charges and faces up to 20 years incarceration and a $500,000 fine for the money laundering charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Mon Metro Drug and Violent Crime Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, led the investigation. The Task Force consists of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, Morgantown Police Department, the Star City Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia University Police Department, the Granville Police Department, and the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Of the 34 indicted in this case, 33 have entered guilty pleas. Twenty-five defendants have been sentenced to a combined 580 months incarceration. 

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John presided.

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Updated September 29, 2021