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Press Release

Wheeling Man Gets 13 Years for COVID Fraud, Drug Trafficking

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Anton Demetrius Matthews, age 40, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for wire fraud, cocaine trafficking, and a supervised release violation.

According to United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld, Matthews obtained nearly $50,000 in CARES Act loans after misrepresenting his income and occupation while he was incarcerated. Matthews submitted a loan application in which he claimed to have established a food truck business in Wheeling in January 2019 even though he was in federal prison from November 2016 until October 2020. Following his release from prison in 2020, Matthews sold cocaine both inside and outside of the Third Alarm Bar on Wheeling Island in Ohio County.

“We have noticed an uptick in drug traffickers who are also engaging in white collar crime, committing acts such as COVID fraud or income tax fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “Mr. Matthews is a good example of this trend, and he will pay a steep price for committing two serious, but very different, crimes.”

Matthews was ordered to pay $54,999 in restitution and a money judgment of $49,999. He will serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennie Conklin and Carly Nogay prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government.

The investigations were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.

Updated May 1, 2024

Drug Trafficking