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Press Release

Gilmer County man admits to fentanyl charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA – Joshua Lee Rutherford, of Linn, West Virginia has admitted to his role in a methamphetamine and fentanyl distribution operation, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Rutherford, 32, pled guilty today to one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute at Least Forty Grams of Fentanyl—Aiding and Abetting.” Rutherford admitted to having more than 40 grams of fentanyl, enough to kill more than 13,000 people, in Hardy County in January 2020.

Rutherford is facing at least five and up to 40 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000,000. 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 Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.

Updated January 26, 2021

Drug Trafficking