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Press Release

Operation Mountaineer Highway Update: New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A New Jersey man pled guilty today for his participation in a drug trafficking operation in Fayette County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Larry Avery, 37, from New Jersey, and formerly of Beckley, entered his guilty plea to using a communication device to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.  Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force, 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 Oak Hill Police Department. 

“500 grams of cocaine,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Once again, law enforcement does a tremendous job in getting illicit drugs off the streets.  Operation Mountaineer Highway was a hugely successful effort in keeping a wide variety of illegal drugs out of our central and southern West Virginia communities.”

Avery admitted that on July 7, 2018, he used a communication device, his cell phone, to facilitate the distribution of over 500 grams of cocaine.  Avery admitted that a car registered in his name was stopped by the police.  Police obtained a search warrant for that car.  During a search of the car, officers found over 500 grams of cocaine hidden in a secret electronic compartment commonly referred to as a trap.  Avery further admitted that he knew the cocaine was to be distributed in and around the Southern District of West Virginia.           

Avery faces up to 8 years in federal prison and a $500,000.00 fine when he is sentenced on November 15, 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 26, 2019

Drug Trafficking