Cross Lanes Man Pleads Guilty to Two Federal Drug Trafficking Crimes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Cross Lanes man pled guilty to two federal drug trafficking crimes, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joseph Lee Harper, 35, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl.
“The lives of many West Virginians have been lost to fentanyl overdose,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “By getting fentanyl dealers and their poisons off the street, many lives are saved and the harm done to our communities is greatly reduced.”
Harper admitted that on June 10, 2019, he sold over four grams of fentanyl to a confidential informant in return for $700. The sale occurred at the Speedway in Cross Lanes. Harper also admitted that on June 12, 2019, he had approximately 26 grams of fentanyl concealed behind an air duct in his Cross Lanes residence. Officers executing a search warrant located the fentanyl when they searched Harper’s residence. Inside Harper’s residence, officers also located the United States currency tied to the earlier controlled drug sale conducted by Harper.
Harper faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on October 13, 2020.
The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin F. Scott is handling the prosecution.
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. 2:19-cr-00300.