Operation Shutdown Corner Update: Three More Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas to Federal Drug Crimes
BECKLEY, W.Va. – Three men pled guilty today for their participation in a drug trafficking operation in Raleigh County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Nick Attilli, 38, of Beaver, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. Timmy Lawson, 40, and Timmy Lawson II, 18, a father and son, both of Beckley, also entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. All three were charged as a result of a long-term investigation known as Operation Shutdown Corner.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to law enforcement for shutting down this organization that was peddling a significant amount of meth and heroin throughout our southern counties,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Taking down large networks of drug traffickers is a top priority of my office.”
Attilli admitted that between June 2018, and September 17, 2019, he worked with other members of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Raleigh County, West Virginia to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. Attilli admitted that during this time period he was supplied with methamphetamine and heroin from other members of the drug trafficking organization. Attilli admitted that during this time period he had telephone conversations that were intercepted by law enforcement. Attilli admitted that it was clear that these conversations were involving drug activity. He admitted that at times he was “fronted” with drugs, meaning the drugs were provided without making full payment for them, then he would sell the drugs and with the proceeds, pay back his suppliers. He admitted to being supplied by several members of the DTO. Attilli faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000,000 when he is sentenced on July 6, 2020.
Timmy Lawson admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he participated in the drug trafficking organization by working with other members of the DTO 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 re-distribute.
Timmy Lawson, II, admitted that he too participated in the same drug trafficking network. He admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he participated in the drug trafficking network by distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin. At the 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 re-distributed 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.
Both of the Lawsons face a mandatory minimum period of five years and up to forty years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine when they are sentenced on July 7, 2020.
Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of 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 Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of the prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before United States District Judge Frank W. Volk.