Lincoln County man sentenced to over 11 years in Federal prison for trafficking pain pills from Florida to West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Lincoln County man was sentenced to 11 years and seven months in federal prison for trafficking pain pills, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. William Harrison Meade, 46, of Branchland, previously pleaded guilty in September 2015 to conspiring to distribute oxycodone.
Meade admitted that in 2010 and 2011, he conspired with individuals in Florida and Lincoln County to distribute oxycodone. Meade also admitted that he laundered the proceeds of the drug sales through a West Virginia bank account for withdrawal in Florida in an effort to conceal the source of the cash and the pills.
Lester Taylor, of Daytona Beach, Florida, was one of Meade’s associates in the drug operation. Taylor acquired oxycodone pills in Florida and used various methods to transport the drugs to West Virginia for distribution by Meade. Taylor sent 15 priority overnight packages containing oxycodone pills to Meade at his home in Branchland. Law enforcement intercepted the last package on January 8, 2011, which contained 1,000 oxycodone pills. After Meade sold the oxycodone pills, he deposited the drug proceeds into bank accounts in Barboursville and Huntington. Following the deposits in West Virginia banks, Taylor and others withdrew the money in Florida. Meade deposited $149,500 in drug proceeds into Taylor’s Fifth Third Bank account at the Huntington branch.
Taylor admitted to obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone and hydromorphone from physicians in Florida and then having the prescriptions filled at pharmacies in West Virginia. The pharmacy primarily used for this unlawful activity, A+ Care Pharmacy, formerly located in Barboursville, has since been prosecuted in federal court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, and is no longer in business.
In November 2015, Taylor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine for his role in the pain pill distribution and money laundering conspiracy.
The West Virginia State Police, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed Meade’s sentence.
These cases are 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 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 opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.
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