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Press Release

Operation Mountaineer Highway Update: Fayette County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Fayette County man pled guilty for his participation in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Fayette County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Ryan Johnson, 37, of Oak Hill, Fayette County, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and a quantity of oxycodone.  The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force conducted the investigation with the support of the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug Task Force, the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Fayetteville Police Department, and the Oak Hill Police Department. 

“Johnson is the tenth defendant convicted as a result of Operation Mountaineer Highway,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This exemplary operation conducted by law enforcement dismantled a significant DTO and, no doubt, saved lives.”

Johnson admitted that between October 2017 and September 2018, he worked with other members of a DTO operating between Fayette County, West Virginia and New Jersey to distribute heroin and oxycodone pills.  Johnson admitted to selling oxycodone and heroin to a confidential informant working with law enforcement on two separate occasions.  He further admitted that he was supplied with drugs by other members of the DTO that transported the drugs from New Jersey to Fayette County, West Virginia.  Johnson also admitted to sending approximately $21,000 to his suppliers in New Jersey as payment for controlled substances.  The controlled substances he obtained from New Jersey were re-distributed to other members of the DTO in Fayette County.  Johnson admitted that he knew it was the plan to distribute the oxycodone and heroin in the Southern District of West Virginia.         

Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5,000,000 fine when he is sentenced on November 12, 2019.

Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Boggess and Andrew J. Tessman are in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.



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Updated August 13, 2019

Drug Trafficking