Kanawha County Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Crime
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County woman was convicted of a federal drug crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Ashley Nichole Rhodes, age 24, of Chesapeake, pled guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“No one in our communities is immune from being victimized by criminal activity related to drug dealing,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “The communities of the Upper Kanawha Valley are suffering because of drug dealers and the mayhem they cause. We are doing everything we can do – in every corner of the district – to hold drug dealers accountable and to kick them out of our neighborhoods.”
As established by public court filings and hearings, on August 16, 2018, a man reported to Kanawha County deputies that his house in Rand, West Virginia, was burglarized. The burglars stole six firearms, three digital cameras, vehicle titles, $1,000 in savings bonds, and various other personal items.
Later that day, a Deputy with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department found some of the stolen items in a backpack outside of an empty, abandoned house on Church Drive. The Deputy spotted another dilapidated, abandoned house nearby, which was open. After entering the house and announcing his presence, the Deputy found Mason Laviro Scragg lying on a mattress. One of the stolen firearms, a 12 gauge shotgun, was protruding from under the mattress directly beneath Scragg. Rhodes was found hiding behind a mirror nearby. Deputies recovered close to five grams of methamphetamine in the room, which Rhodes later claimed. Scragg previously pled guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon.
Rhodes is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine when she is sentenced on July 31, 2019. Assistant United States Attorney Drew O. Inman is handling the prosecution. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing.