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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 23, 2020

Martinsburg man admits to role in cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl distribution operation

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Michael Shavar Payton, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, has admitted to his role in a cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl distribution operation, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Payton, age 34, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base.” Payton admitted to distributing 28 grams or more of cocaine base in Berkeley County in January 2019.

Payton faces at least five years and up to 40 years 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 Lara K. Omps-Botteicher, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Lydia Lehman, also with the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and Assistant U.S Attorney Timothy D. Helman, are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation; the West Virginia State Police; the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Martinsburg Police Department, the Charles Town Police Department, and the Ranson Police Department investigated. 

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 Robert W. Trumble presided.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated January 23, 2020