Goodwin Announces Three Guilty Pleas In Federal Prescription Drug Crackdown
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Three individuals from Mercer County pleaded guilty in federal court this week in connection with the illegal distribution of powerful prescription painkillers, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. The charges against each defendant were brought as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative, a concerted attack by federal, state, and local government on the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in the southern region of West Virginia.
The following defendants pleaded guilty on Nov. 4 to distribution of hydromorphone, a powerful prescription painkiller commonly known as Dilaudid: Darryl Shrader, 53, of Spanishburg; Bobby Michael Short Jr., 46, of Princeton; and Faith Michelle Akers, 44, of Princeton. Shrader, Short and Akers each sold hydromorphone pills to a confidential informant working in cooperation with law enforcement. The pill transactions took place in and around Mercer County.
All three defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 10, 2014 by Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.
The Bluefield Pill Initiative is a collaborative, multi-agency regional law enforcement effort designed to halt prescription drug trafficking in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming counties. The Bluefield Pill Initiative is led by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Bluefield and Princeton Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney John File is in charge of the prosecutions.