Four defendants appear on Federal drug charges in Bluefield
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Four defendants appeared in federal court today on drug charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto.
Steven Andrew Short, 30, of Bluefield, was sentenced to four years in federal prison for using a phone to facilitate the distribution of hydromorphone. Short previously pleaded guilty in November 2015 to the federal drug crime. Short admitted that on April 8, 2015, he used a phone to help set up a drug deal with a confidential informant working with law enforcement. Later that same day, Short distributed hydromorphone pills to the informant near Rock in Mercer County. Short also admitted that he distributed more than 1800 hydromorphone pills.
Adam Christopher Skeens, 45, of Princeton, pleaded guilty to distribution of hydromorphone, admitting that on February 23, 2015, he distributed hydromorphone pills to a confidential informant in Princeton. Stephen Wayne Steele, 42, of Bluefield, pleaded guilty to distribution of hydromorphone, admitting that on April 7, 2015, he distributed hydromorphone pills to a confidential informant in Green Valley in Mercer County. Terrance Dewayne Hayes, 30, of Welch, pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin, and admitted that on June 16, 2015, he distributed heroin to a confidential informant near Havaco in McDowell County.
Each of the defendants faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine when they are sentenced on May 17, 2016.
The cases were investigated by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney John File handled the prosecutions. The hearings were conducted by Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.
These case were prosecuted as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative, 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 prescription drugs and heroin. 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 opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.
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