Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Marijuana Charge
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Florida man admitted to possessing marijuana with intent to distribute for remuneration, and was immediately sentenced, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Russell William Smith III pled guilty before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin and was subsequently sentenced to nine months in prison. Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Police.
“Marijuana is increasingly potent and dangerous,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “This drug dealer was not only driving under the influence but transporting large quantities of marijuana with the intent to sell it. We prosecute all illegal controlled substances in this district and will continue to vigorously enforce federal law.”
As established by public court filings and hearings, on June 4, 2018, Sergeant Brian K. Hammontree with the West Virginia State Police, spotted a truck driving erratically in the Smith Creek area of Kanawha County. The truck swerved off the roadway several times and jumped onto a sidewalk at one point. Sergeant Hammontree initiated a stop on the truck, and Smith exited the truck without prompting. Smith was unsteady on his feet and admitted to drinking “too much.” Smith provided a breath sample that showed his breath alcohol content was over twice the legal limit.
Sergeant Hammontree asked Smith if there were any drugs in the truck and Smith advised he had a large quantity of marijuana, which Sergeant Hammontree retrieved. Sergeant Hammontree ultimately recovered multiple pounds of marijuana from Smith’s duffel bag in the bed of the truck, packaged in 17 separate bags.
Assistant United States Attorney Drew O. Inman handled the prosecution.