You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Martinsburg man admits drug charge

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Joseph George Ray, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, has admitted to a drug charge, Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard announced.

Ray, 56, also known as “YB,” pleaded guilty today to one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute a Heroin and Fentanyl Mixture.” Ray admitted to distributing heroin and fentanyl in August 2020 in Berkeley County.

Ray faces up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000. 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.

These charges are the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep.  This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in “hot spot” areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally. 

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Eastern Panhandle Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and the Martinsburg Police Department investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated July 7, 2021