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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 24, 2015

Belpre, Ohio man pleads guilty to federal drug conspiracy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Belpre, Ohio man is the latest member of a large-scale marijuana trafficking organization to plead guilty in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Brent J. Sidwell, 33, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston to his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.

At today’s plea hearing, Sidwell admitted that he and others operated a drug trafficking organization in and around Wood County, West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio.  In the fall of 2013, members of the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force (PNTF) and the Washington County Major Crimes Task Force (WCMCTF) began working with a confidential informant who began purchasing marijuana and cocaine from Sidwell and other members of the organization.  The drug deals took place primarily at the former 5th Street Pub in Parkersburg, but also occurred at numerous locations in Wood and Washington Counties.  Eventually, police obtained a wiretap on Sidwell’s phone and executed search warrants at various locations.

Sidwell admitted that he provided marijuana on consignment and recruited others to deliver marijuana and pick up money for the fronted marijuana from previous deals.  Evidence given at earlier court proceedings revealed that Sidwell and others, at his direction, would pick up large marijuana shipments delivered by U.S. Mail to various locations within Wood and Washington Counties.  Sidwell would then direct members of the organization to package the marijuana in smaller multi-pound quantities and deliver it to street-level distributors and collect the proceeds of drug sales.  The money would then be delivered to Sidwell’s suppliers, either by bulk cash delivery, wire transfer, or by depositing the money into a local branch of a national bank to be withdrawn at a different location by the supplier.

Timothy Fields, 38, of Vienna previously pleaded guilty in federal court and admitted distributing more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana and smaller quantities of cocaine.  He was sentenced in January 2015 to six years in federal prison.  David A. Naylor also pleaded guilty in federal court and admitted distributing more than 700 kilograms of marijuana.  He is scheduled for sentencing on July 30, 2015.

Sidwell faces at least five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 7, 2015.

This case represents the ongoing  cooperation between the PNTF, WCMCTF, the Wood County, WV Prosecuting Attorney, the Washington County, OH Prosecuting Attorney and the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorney, Joshua Hanks is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated April 24, 2015