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Press Release

Akron Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An Akron, Ohio, man admitted to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Rodney Lammar Hargrove, age 48, pled guilty today before United States District Judge David E. Faber.  Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), Charleston Police Department, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, St. Albans Police Department, and South Charleston Police Department.

“Another out-of-state drug dealer with meth, heroin and a gun -- and CARFENTANYL -- on Charleston’s West Side,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Carfentanyl- the same fentanyl analogue that is used to tranquilize elephants. I am so grateful to our law enforcement officers for getting Hargrove and these deadly drugs off our streets and away from our families.”

As established by public court filings and hearings, on February 16, 2018, police were investigating a known drug house on Frame Street in Charleston, West Virginia.  The investigators found suspected heroin, needles, and other drug paraphernalia.  As they were preparing to leave, Hargrove entered the house.  Hargrove admitted that he was carrying a gun, which the investigators retrieved for their safety.  Hargrove also gave the investigators permission to retrieve drugs that he was carrying: approximately 20 grams of ice methamphetamine and approximately 6 grams of a mixture containing carfentanyl, a powerful and deadly fentanyl analogue.

Investigators arrested Hargrove and transported him to the police station, where he confessed to investigators that he was a drug dealer.  Hargrove explained that he had been receiving about a half-ounce of methamphetamine and 10 grams of heroin at a time for resale in Charleston.

Hargrove is facing a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and up to life imprisonment when he is sentenced on August 6, 2019.  Assistant United States Attorney Drew O. Inman is handling the prosecution.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), a focused enforcement effort that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas. 


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Updated March 18, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses