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Press Release

Beckley Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Beckley man who was arrested after a drug investigation pled guilty today to a federal drug charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Kendall Cotten, 29, entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute heroin before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“Another peddler of heroin mixed with fentanyl convicted,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Fentanyl is a driver of death rates among drug users.  So many of our citizens have lost their lives at the hands of drug dealers peddling these poisons.  We are holding drug dealers accountable and pushing for tough actions and ever tougher sentences for those dealing these deadly poisons.”

Cotten admitted that on three separate occasions between November 28, 2017 and December 7, 2017, he sold what he believed to be heroin, but in fact turned out to be a mix of heroin and fentanyl, to a confidential informant working with the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.  The drugs sold on these dates were tested by the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab and confirmed to contain heroin and fentanyl.  Cotten also admitted that on December 13, 2017, police executed a search warrant at this residence.  During the search police officers recovered 122 bindles of heroin, $727 in cash that were the proceeds of drug trafficking activities, and a Ruger LCP .380 pistol.  Cotten admitted that he intended to distribute the heroin found during the search warrant.   

Cotten now faces a sentence of up to twenty years in federal prison on the federal drug charge.  Cotten’s sentencing will be held on October 24, 2019.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.


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Updated July 17, 2019

Drug Trafficking