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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Charleston Woman Sentenced to Prison for Role in Multi-State Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Denise Marie Cottrill, 64, of Charleston, was sentenced today to two years and nine months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Cottrill admitted to a role in a large-volume drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in Kanawha County.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Cottrill sold a total of approximately 7.2 grams of methamphetamine to confidential informants on two occasions in January 2021, each time at her Charleston residence. On February 5, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Cottrill’s residence and seized approximately 23 grams of methamphetamine. Cottrill admitted that she intended to distribute the methamphetamine.

Cottrill was among 17 individuals convicted following the dismantling of the DTO, which had distributed more than 160 pounds of methamphetamine as well as quantities of fentanyl and other drugs primarily in the Charleston, Rand, and St. Albans areas from March 2019 to September 2021. The investigation targeting the DTO led to the seizure of more than 12.3 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately 34 firearms, more than $86,000 in cash, and several vehicles including three motorcycles. The investigation also thwarted a plan by four of the defendants to murder an individual on Charleston’s West Side on July 4, 2021.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Charleston Police Department, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the United States Marshals Service, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Alex Hamner prosecuted the case.

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-172.




Drug Trafficking
Updated November 17, 2022