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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 27, 2014

Florida Couple Plead Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

Husband also pleads guilty in money laundering conspiracy

Charleston,  W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that Lester Taylor, 45, and Ali Weinberg, 32, both of Daytona Beach, Florida, entered guilty pleas today in federal court in Charleston to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.  Taylor also pleaded guilty to his role in a money laundering conspiracy.

Beginning in January 2010 and continuing until May 2014, Taylor acquired oxycodone pills in Florida and had them transported to Lincoln County, West Virginia, for distribution.  Taylor shipped the pills via a common carrier, made personal trips from Florida to West Virginia, and used associates to carry the drugs from Florida to West Virginia.  Taylor supplied pills to his associates for distribution, and once the pills were sold, the associates deposited the drug proceeds in Taylor’s bank accounts in Barboursville and Huntington.  From January 2010 through May 2014, more than $700,000 in drug proceeds were deposited into Taylor’s bank accounts.  Taylor retrieved the cash from Florida through ATM withdrawals, counter withdrawals or cashed checks made payable to him or his associates.

Ali Weinberg, Taylor’s fiancée, admitted that from approximately February 2013 through May 2014, she and Taylor obtained monthly prescriptions for oxycodone and hydromophone from doctors in Florida.  They took the Florida prescriptions to A+ Pharmacy in Barboursville to be filled.  The pills from these prescriptions were later distributed in Lincoln County.   Weinberg admitted that from February 2013 through May 2014, she and Taylor obtained approximately 4,772 oxycodone 30 mg pills, approximately 630 hydromorphone 4 mg pills, and approximately 1,080 hydromorphone 8 mg pills through this scheme.

Taylor and Weinberg are scheduled to be sentenced on January 27, 2015, by United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution.

This case was brought 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 heroin and prescription drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiates and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Updated January 7, 2015