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Press Release

Gilmer County man sentenced to nearly 18 years for 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, was sentenced today to 215 months of incarceration for his role in a methamphetamine and fentanyl distribution operation, Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard announced.

Rutherford, 32, pled guilty in January 2021 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The task force is comprised of the DEA, the FBI, the West Virginia State Police, the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office, the Hardy County Sheriff's Office, the Grant County Sheriff's Office, and the Keyser Police Department.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.

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Updated July 29, 2021

Drug Trafficking