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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Drug Crimes

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Rory Divaughn Spells, 36, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced today to eleven years and seven months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute a quantity of fentanyl and a quantity of methamphetamine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on September 28, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence near Beckley. Officers found quantities of fentanyl, a substance containing methamphetamine and $8,245. Spells admitted that he was mixing and preparing fentanyl for distribution in the residence’s kitchen at the time the search warrant was executed. Spells further admitted that the cash represented proceeds of previous drug trafficking activity.

Co-defendant Lorenzo B. Herbert, 34, of Beckley, was sentenced on March 14, 2024, to 10 years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine.

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 Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), FBI Chicago, and the Chicago Police Department.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess prosecuted the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program 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. 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. 5:23-cr-72.

Updated May 24, 2024