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Press Release

Huntington Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Today, Kyla Smith, also known as “Flaca,” 29, of Huntington, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Smith admitted to her role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the Southern District of West Virginia.

On October 29, 2023, a law enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Smith on Eighth Avenue in Huntington. Smith admitted that the officer saw her conceal a bag of methamphetamine in the front of her pants during the traffic stop. Smith surrendered the methamphetamine to the officer, and admitted that she intended to distribute the controlled substance. Smith further admitted that she participated in the DTO from at least August 2023 through November 2023. Smith distributed methamphetamine and fentanyl to various customers, including some who redistributed the controlled substances that she provided to them.

Smith and other DTO participants used multiple residences to store and distribute quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, including a Davis Street residence in Huntington maintained by Smith. On November 15, 2023, officers executed a search warrant at Smith’s Davis Street residence and seized approximately 477 grams of fentanyl.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

Smith is among 27 individuals indicted in a 53-count indictment that charges the defendants with distributing methamphetamine and fentanyl transported from Detroit, Michigan, in Huntington and other locations within the Southern District of West Virginia.

Smith is also among 14 defendants who have pleaded guilty in the main case. One other of the 27 indicted individuals pleaded guilty to a related offense in a separate case. The indictment against the remaining defendants is pending. An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Stephanie Taylor are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:23-cr-180. 

Updated April 8, 2024

Topic
Drug Trafficking