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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Multiple Defendants Plead Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Multiple defendants pled guilty to federal methamphetamine charges today, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Stuart praised the efforts of law enforcement agencies working in partnership with his office to fight the recent resurgence of methamphetamine in West Virginia. 

“As methamphetamine continues to become the illicit drug of choice throughout southern West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart, “my Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute meth distributors peddling their poison in our communities.  We are going to use every resource available to us to ensure that today’s meth doesn’t become the crisis that opiates have posed to our communities and families.”


Travis Thomas, 26, and Melody Legg, 43, entered their guilty pleas to an indictment charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  The joint investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department STOP Team.  

Thomas admitted that from at least June 2017 to September 2017, he supplied Melody Legg and others with five grams or more of methamphetamine to distribute for money in Kanawha County.   As part of the plea agreement, Thomas admitted to distributing approximately 23 grams of methamphetamine to Melody Legg in August 2017.  Legg admitted that from at least June 2017 to September 2017, she distributed methamphetamine for Travis Thomas and others in Kanawha County.  She conspired with Travis Thomas, William Naylor, Timothy Boggs, and Michael Ginther to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine in exchange for money.   

Thomas faces at least 5 years but not more than 40 years in federal prison and Legg faces 10 years to life in federal prison when they are sentenced on October 3, 2018.

The plea hearings were held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor is in charge of the prosecutions.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charles Smith, 42, of Charleston, pled guilty today before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., to distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation.

Smith admitted to providing approximately 5 ounces of methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with the DEA in exchange for $1800 on January 30th of this year. The transaction occurred on the parking lot of the Save-A-Lot Store on Virginia Street west in Charleston.

Smith faces from 10 years to life imprisonment and a $10,000,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 16, 2018.  AUSA John Frail is handling the prosecution.


Larry Dingess, 49, of Nellis, Boone County, also pled guilty before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., to possessing methamphetamine for distribution.  The Boone County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation.

Dingess admitted that on March 17, 2016, he was found to be in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine during a search of his person by members of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.  Deputy Sheriff’s had gone to Dingess’ Nellis home to arrest him on an unrelated warrant when he was found in possession of methamphetamine.

Dingess faces from 5 to 40 years imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 11, 2018.


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Drug Trafficking
Updated July 10, 2018