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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 10, 2020

Operation Shutdown Corner: Nine Defendants Appear in Federal Court on Drug Charges

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Eight defendants were sentenced to federal prison and one defendant pled guilty this week for participating in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating between California and Raleigh County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. 

“As a result of Operation Shutdown Corner, 17 federal defendants now stand convicted and West Virginia families and communities are safer today,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “I commend our law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local levels for their tremendous work.”

Jason Pafford, 38, of Beckley, was sentenced to 151 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and more than 100 grams of heroin. During a previous plea hearing, it was established that he participated in the DTO between June 2018 and September 17, 2019. Also at the previous hearing, it was established that during the course of the operations of the drug trafficking network, Pafford was supplied by other members of the DTO with approximately five pounds of methamphetamine that he redistributed in the Southern District of West Virginia. During this same time period, Pafford also was supplied with more than 100 grams of heroin that was redistributed in Raleigh County. During the course of the conspiracy, law enforcement officers, with the assistance of a confidential informant, were able to conduct at least two controlled drug buys from Pafford. 

Nick Attilli, 38, of Beaver, was sentenced to 97 months in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. Attilli previously admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he worked with other members of the DTO to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, and that during this time period he was supplied with methamphetamine and heroin from other members of the DTO. Attilli also admitted that he had telephone conversations that were intercepted by law enforcement and that it was clear the conversations involved drug activity. He further admitted that at times he was fronted with drugs, meaning the drugs were provided without making full payment for them, and then he would sell the drugs and with the proceeds pay back his suppliers.

Jonathon Zakresky, 35, of Beckley, was sentenced to 87 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and more than 100 grams of heroin. Zakresky previously admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he worked with other members of the DTO to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. During this time period, Zakresky admitted to obtaining approximately 11 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 100 grams of heroin for the purpose of redistributing the drugs in and around Raleigh County. He also admitted to supplying other members of the DTO with the drugs and to storing the drugs at or near his residence. Zakresky also admitted to assisting other members of the DTO in collecting money owed for the drugs that were being distributed, and to identifying delivery locations in West Virginia for the drugs from California. As part of his plea agreement, Zakresky agreed to abandon 14 firearms that were located at his residence at the time of his arrest on September 18, 2019. He knew that he was prohibited from possessing the firearms because he was a convicted felon. 

Shaneka Black, 41, a California woman living in Princeton, was sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine. Black previously admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, she participated in the drug trafficking network by assisting other members in collecting money owed for the drugs that were being distributed. Black also admitted to assisting another member of the DTO, who she knew was a convicted felon, in obtaining a firearm. Finally, Black admitted that in or around September 2019, she arranged for a package to be delivered to West Virginia from California that contained approximately two pounds of methamphetamine. She indicated that she knew the drugs were intended to be redistributed in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Timmy Lawson, 40, of Beckley, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. Lawson previously admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he participated in the DTO by working with other organization members to distribute methamphetamine and heroin within the Southern District of West Virginia. During this time period, Lawson admitted to obtaining more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin from various suppliers within the drug trafficking network that he intended to redistribute and did redistribute.

Patricia Greer, 46, of Beckley, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. Greer obtained methamphetamine and heroin from another member of the DTO and intended to redistribute it in and around Beckley. Between April 2019 and the time of her arrest on September 18, 2019, Greer distributed approximately two to three ounces of methamphetamine, and a small amount of heroin, a month.

Marika Davis, 38, of Bluefield, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine. Davis previously admitted that between February 2019 and August 9, 2019, she participated in the DTO by allowing drugs to be shipped to her home address at the request of other members of the DTO.  Davis admitted that she was paid to have packages delivered to her house. She also admitted that on August 9, 2019, she was transporting a package that had been delivered to her house in Bluefield and was delivering it to another member of the DTO in Beckley. She further admitted that after picking up the other member of the DTO, a police officer pulled her over for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, officers found the package she was delivering and discovered that it contained approximately two pounds of methamphetamine. Through additional investigation, law enforcement officers were able to determine the package had been sent from California.

Timmy Lawson II, 19, of Beckley, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. He admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he participated in the DTO by distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. At his plea hearing, Lawson II admitted that each week during a two-month period he obtained between one-quarter ounce to one-half ounce of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin from other members of the DTO. He admitted that he then redistributed those drugs within the Southern District of West Virginia. He also admitted that at times the drugs were fronted to him, and that he would pay his supplier after the drugs were sold.

Victoria Hamilton, 35, of Beckley, entered a guilty plea for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. Hamilton admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, she worked with other members of the DTO to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. During this time period, Hamilton admitted to receiving quantities of methamphetamine and heroin from other members of the DTO. She further admitted that the other members knew it was her plan and purpose to redistribute these drugs in the Southern District of West Virginia. More specifically, she admitted that during this time period, law enforcement agents intercepted telephone conversations and text messages involving drug activity between her and other members of the DTO. These conversations revealed that the defendant was obtaining drugs in quantities from a few grams to approximately one-half ounce at a time. These conversations also revealed it was her plan to redistribute these controlled substances to others in Raleigh County. Hamilton faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $5 million when she is sentenced on October 23, 2020.

The investigations were handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, the Beckley Police Department and the West Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Boggess and Andrew Tessman handled the prosecutions. United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentences and presided over the plea hearing.

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated July 10, 2020