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Press Release

Charleston Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston woman pleaded guilty today to a federal drug charge.

According to court documents, on November 24, 2020, Erica Ratliff, 36, met her drug source of supply at the Family Dollar store on Bigley Avenue and purchased three ounces of methamphetamine. After Ratliff left the parking lot of the Family Dollar store, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on her vehicle.  The officers recovered the methamphetamine that Ratliff had just purchased as well as other controlled substances she had on her person.  Ratliff admitted that she intended to distribute the methamphetamine.

Ratliff pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine and faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison when she is sentenced on July 21, 2021. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement. Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is prosecuting the cases.

This case is part of a long-term investigation, dubbed the “Woo Boyz,” which resulted in federal charges against 15 individuals and was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Charleston Police Department, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service and the West Virginia State Police. The Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AHIDTA) provided critical support to the investigative agencies.

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing. 

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-00033.



Updated April 27, 2021

Drug Trafficking