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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 30, 2018

Last of Nearly Two Dozen Defendants Plead Guilty for Roles in Drug Conspiracy

 

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. -- Two men pled guilty today for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Derrick Lamar Staples, 41, of Charleston, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of cocaine base, and more than one kilogram of heroin.  Shaun L. Givens, 40, of Beckley, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.  Staples and Givens are two of 23 defendants indicted in June 2017 after a comprehensive investigation of drug trafficking in Southern West Virginia.   U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of several agencies, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Beckley Police Department, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service also provided assistance throughout the investigation. 

“This investigation dismantled an entire drug trafficking organization responsible for peddling a smorgasbord of dangerous drugs,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Staples and Givens will soon be joining their fellow drug thugs in federal prison,” continued Stuart. “I want to commend my team and our principal partners including the FBI and Raleigh County Task Force as well as other critical partners who assisted throughout this effort.  Their efforts saved lives and our streets are safer today as a result of their efforts.”

Derrick Staples, admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy in Raleigh County with multiple participants involving the distribution of cocaine and heroin.  Staples admitted to working with James Rodney Staples, Dominic Copney and others to distribute the controlled substances.  Staples admitted that other members of the drug trafficking organization would come to his residence in Charleston to pick up materials used to “cut” or prepare heroin for distribution.  He also admitted that on June 28, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence in Kanawha County.  During the search, agents found 706.99 grams of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl, 34.4 grams of cocaine, a kilo press used to prepare drugs for distribution and two firearms.  Staples admitted it was his intent to distribute the controlled substances found during the search.  Law enforcement officers also seized over $70,000 in cash, jewelry, a car, and real estate that Staples admitted were drug proceeds or purchased with drug proceeds.  As part of the plea agreement Staples has agreed to the forfeiture of these items.   

Shaun Givens admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he too participated in a drug trafficking organization that distributed cocaine and heroin in and around Raleigh County.  Givens admitted that during this time period, he received in excess of 500 grams of cocaine from other members of the drug trafficking organization that he distributed in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Givens also admitted that on June 28, 2017, police officers executed a search warrant at his residence in Beckley.  During the execution of the search warrant, officers found over seven grams of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl, a small amount of cocaine base, seven firearms, and $1,127 in cash that defendant admitted were the proceeds of his illegal drug trafficking.    

Staples faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 24, 2018.  Givens faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on July 25, 2018.

Several individuals implicated as a result of this investigation have entered guilty pleas to drug charges and are awaiting sentencing. Two defendants, Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, have been sentenced by United States District Judge Irene Berger. Cheyenne Fragale received a sentence of 12 years in federal prison while Macon Fragale will serve 16 years and 8 months.  Velarian Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of not less than 20 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Dominic Copney, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Detria Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than five and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 24, 2018. Donald Scalise, of Montgomery, faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 25, 2018. Tiffany Ramsey, of Boomer, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on May 2, 2018. Shawn Akiem Anderson, of Mt. Hope, faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018.   Rory White, of Montgomery, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 6, 2018. 

Karl Funderburk, of Teays Valley, who previously pled guilty to a gun charge, faces at least 5 years and up to life in federal prison for using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018.

Shaun Jones has entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.  Jonathan Moore has entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Each faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on May 29, 2018. 

Corey Larkin previously entered a plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin.  He also faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 5, 2018. 

Esau Burnette, of Beckley, has entered a plea to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine.  He faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 30, 2018.  James Rodney Staples, of Woodbridge, Virginia, faces at least 10 years in federal prison and up to life when he is sentenced on May 30, 2018 after entering a plea to conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of cocaine base, and more than one kilogram of heroin.

George E. Brockman, II, of Montgomery, entered a plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, a quantity of cocaine, and a quantity of oxycodone.  Charles Hill, aka “Unc,” of Beckley, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base, and a quantity of cocaine.  They both face at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on June 5, 2018.

Jonathan O. Brockman of Kimberly, Fayette County, previously entered a plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, a quantity of fentanyl, a quantity of oxycodone, and a quantity of marijuana for remuneration.  David Shaun Coleman of Fayette County entered his plea to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and a quantity of oxycodone.  Rashaun Carter, aka “Show,” of Raleigh County, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base, more than 100 grams of heroin, and a quantity of cocaine, and a quantity of fentanyl.  Each of these defendants face at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on July 24, 2018.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of these prosecutions. The Staples and Givens plea hearings were held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

These cases are being prosecuted as part of 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 illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @SDWVNews and @USAttyStuart 


 
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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated March 30, 2018