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Press Release

Greenbrier County heroin dealer pleads guilty to Federal drug crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Greenbrier County man pleaded guilty today to a federal drug crime, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. James Michael Payne, 63, of Frankford, entered his guilty plea to distribution of heroin.   

Payne admitted that on August 21, 2015, he distributed six stamps, or packets, of heroin to a confidential informant cooperating with law enforcement authorities. The drug deal took place in the Fairlea area of Greenbrier County. Payne also admitted that he distributed a total of approximately 100 stamps of heroin during August and September of 2015. 

Payne faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 31, 2016. 

This case was investigated by the Greenbrier County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney John File is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.

This prosecution was brought as part of the Greenbrier Heroin and 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 pills and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Updated June 1, 2016

Drug Trafficking