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Press Release

One Princeton Man Pleads Guilty, Another Sentenced to Prison in Federal Drug Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Today, Dailen Isaiah Defoe, 20, of Princeton, pleaded guilty to distribution of fentanyl and Malachi Damonte Cooper, 22, of Princeton, was sentenced to eight years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 8, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a Bluefield residence where Defoe and Cooper were staying. Officers found 734 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 130 grams of fentanyl, digital scales, a money counter, a Micro Draco 7.62mm semi-automatic pistol, a Glock 9mm pistol loaded with a 30-round magazine, and over $23,000. Defoe and Cooper admitted that they possessed the controlled substances and intended to distribute them.

Defoe further admitted to selling a quantity of fentanyl to a confidential informant in Princeton on August 19, 2021. Defoe also admitted to selling additional quantities of fentanyl to the confidential informant in Princeton on August 23 and August 31, 2021.

On August 31, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence where Defoe was staying in Princeton. Officers found approximately 375 grams of methamphetamine, 774 grams of fentanyl, 13 grams of heroin, three semi-automatic handguns, two drum magazines, various other firearm magazines and ammunition, and several thousand dollars. Defoe admitted that he possessed the controlled substances and intended to distribute them.

Defoe is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The task force consists of members of the West Virginia State Police, the Bluefield Police Department, the Princeton Police Department, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department, and the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department.

Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearings. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew D. Isabell prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-119.



Updated March 4, 2024

Drug Trafficking