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Press Release

Operation Mountaineer Highway Update: Two New Jersey Men Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Charges

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two New Jersey men pled guilty today for their participation in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Fayette County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Fuquan Hagler, 40, of East Orange, New Jersey, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and Brian Kelley, 46, also from New Jersey, entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute more than 500  grams of cocaine.  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 the Oak Hill Police Department. 

“Two more out-of-state drug dealers held accountable for peddling their poisons in our communities,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “The drug dealers involved in this DTO were wreaking havoc in our southern counties, but we have put them out of business.”

Hagler admitted that in June 2018, he worked with other members of a drug trafficking organization operating between Fayette County, West Virginia and New Jersey to distribute oxycodone pills.  Hagler admitted that on June 20, 2018 he was a passenger in car transporting oxycodone pills from New Jersey to West Virginia.  It was the plan to deliver the pills to another member of the drug trafficking organization in West Virginia to be redistributed and sold illegally in the Southern District of West Virginia for profit.  Prior to delivering the pills to West Virginia, the car Hagler was in was stopped by the Pennsylvania State Police.  During the traffic stop, approximately 997 oxycodone pills were recovered.  The pills were hidden in a secret compartment, commonly referred to as a trap. 

Additionally, Kelley admitted that on July 7, 2018 he was involved in a conspiracy that was transporting controlled substances from New Jersey to the Southern District of West Virginia.  Kelley admitted to traveling to a co-defendant’s residence in Fayette County, and picking up over $21,000 in cash for another member of the drug trafficking organization.  Police officers later stopped the car Kelley was driving and found over $21,000 in cash and approximately 639 grams of cocaine.  Both the cash and the cocaine were found in a hidden electronic compartment.          

Hagler faces up to twenty years in prison and a $1,000,000.00 fine.  Kelley faces a mandatory minimum period of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years and a $5,000,000 fine.  Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on November 7, 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 12, 2019

Drug Trafficking