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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fayette County man pleads guilty for role in federal drug conspiracy

Defendant is latest to plead guilty out of nearly two dozen defendants indicted after long-term narcotics investigation

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Fayette County man pleaded guilty today for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Donald L. Scalise, 60, of Montgomery, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. Scalise is one of 23 defendants indicted in June 2017 after a comprehensive investigation of drug trafficking in Southern West Virginia.

 

U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of several agencies. The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Beckley Police Department, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service provided assistance throughout the investigation. 

 

Scalise admitted that between May 2017 and June 28, 2017, he took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy with multiple participants. During this time period, Scalise admitted to working with Cheyenne Fragale and others to obtain oxycodone pills to distribute in and around Fayette County. Scalise admitted that he purchased between 30 and 100 pills at a time, though some of the pills were for personal use. He further admitted to distributing or possessing with intent to distribute approximately 850 oxycodone 30 mg tablets. As part of the plea agreement, Scalise agreed to forfeit $4,193, the illegal proceeds of his drug trafficking activity, and seven firearms. Law enforcement seized the cash and firearms from his residence after his arrest on June 28, 2017. Scalise admitted that the drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing not only oxycodone, but also methamphetamine and heroin in and around Fayette County.   

 

Scalise faces up to 20 years federal prison when he is sentenced on April 25, 2018.

 

Other individuals implicated as a result of this drug investigation have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, two brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, a quantity of oxycodone, and a quantity of heroin. They both face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 14, 2018. Dominic Copney, of Beckley, previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin. He faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Detria Carter, of Beckley, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. She faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than five and up to 40 years in federal prision when she is sentenced on April 24, 2018. Velarian Carter, the brother of Detria Carter, previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of crack, and more than 100 grams of heroin. He faces a mandatory minimum of not less than 20 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018.

 

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of these prosecutions. The Scalise plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.

 

These cases are being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated January 18, 2018