Operation Shutdown Corner Update: Two Defendants Appear in Federal Court
BECKLEY, W.Va. – One defendant was sentenced to federal prison and another pled guilty today for their participation in a drug trafficking organization operating between California and Raleigh County, West Virginia, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.
“Dove and Howell were arrested and charged as a result of Operation Shutdown Corner, a long-term investigation that dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said. “I commend the cooperative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for their work in shutting down this multi-state methamphetamine pipeline.”
David Dove, 49, of Scarbro, was sentenced to 75 months in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Dove previously 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. Dove admitted that during this time period he supplied other members of the drug trafficking organization with distribution quantities of methamphetamine knowing that it was the plan and purpose that the other members would resell the methamphetamine illegally. Dove admitted to now knowing he was participating in recorded conversations regarding drug activity and to meeting with other members of the DTO to distribute and exchange controlled substances. Dove also admitted that when he was arrested, law enforcement officers found two “eight-balls” of methamphetamine that he intended to distribute. Dove admitted that he was responsible for distributing between 1.5 kilograms and 5 kilograms of methamphetamine during this time period.
Clifford Howell, 31, of Eastpointe, Michigan, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Howell faces a mandatory minimum period of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million when he is sentenced on September 18, 2020. Howell admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he worked with other members of the DTO to distribute heroin. During this time period, Howell admitted to traveling to Michigan to obtain heroin, then returning to the Southern District of West Virginia to supply other members of the DTO with the heroin. Howell admitted that during this time period he supplied other members of the DTO with more than 100 grams of heroin, knowing it was the plan and purpose of the other members to redistribute the drugs within the Southern District of West Virginia.
Operation Shutdown Corner was a joint investigative effort 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 Attorneys Timothy D. Boggess and Andrew Tessman are handling the prosecutions. United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearings.