Lincoln County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Lincoln County man pled guilty today to federal drug and gun crimes, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Chad Anthony Wilson, 27, of West Hamlin, entered his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Hurricane Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Another gun-toting drug dealer is off the streets,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We are laser-focused on prosecuting cases involving fentanyl distribution – so many West Virginians have died because of this deadly drug.”
Wilson admitted that late at night on January 8, 2018, he was sitting in his Chevy Impala, which was parked across all the dividers in the parking lot of American Inn in Hurricane. A Hurricane police officer approached the car, introduced himself, and saw a bag containing a crystal substance consistent with methamphetamine in the center console of the vehicle. When the officer asked if there were any weapons in the car, Wilson told the officer that he had a gun in the passenger seat, though he refused to hand over the weapon. A backup officer arrived shortly after and secured the gun, later identified as a Taurus, Millennium PT111, 9mm pistol.
Once the weapon was secure, officers asked Wilson if there were any more weapons or narcotics in the vehicle. Wilson told the officer about the bag in the center console. During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered that bag of suspected methamphetamine, as well as another bag containing 18.57 grams of a substance that was analyzed by a Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory and confirmed to be fentanyl.
Wilson faces up to 20 years in prison on the drug charge, followed by a consecutive term of at least five years and up to life in prison when he is sentenced on November 19, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Clint Carte is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. This prosecution is also 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.