Operation Shutdown Corner Update: Two Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas to Federal Drug Crimes
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Beckley woman and a Columbus, Ohio man pled guilty today for their participation in a drug trafficking operation in Raleigh County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Stephanie McClung, 48, and Jason Johnson, 31, both entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine. McClung and Johnson were charged as a result of a long-term investigation known as Operation Shutdown Corner.
“Operation Shutdown Corner dismantled a multi-state meth pipeline from California to West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “McClung and Johnson were two of the 17 individuals charged as a result of the investigation.”
McClung admitted that between June 2018, and September 17, 2019, she worked with other members of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Raleigh County, West Virginia to distribute methamphetamine. McClung admitted that during this time period she was supplied with distribution amounts of controlled substances from various members of the DTO. She also admitted to selling the controlled substances, which included methamphetamine and heroin, to individuals that she now understands were working with law enforcement as confidential informants. She further admitted to allowing another member of the DTO to have controlled substances delivered to her address. She admitted to allowing this on at least two separate occasions. On one occasion approximately one pound of methamphetamine was delivered and on a second occasion a quantity of heroin was delivered to her address.
Jason Johnson admitted that between June 2018, and September 17, 2019, he participated in the drug trafficking organization by supplying Stephanie McClung and others with distribution amounts of methamphetamine and heroin. During this time period, Johnson admitted to selling more than 50 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine to McClung knowing it was her plan and purpose to re-distribute those drugs in and around Raleigh County and the Southern District of West Virginia. Johnson admitted to meeting with McClung several times a week to supply her with drugs.
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.
Both McClung and Johnson 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 April 20, 2020.
Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Boggess and Andrew J. Tessman are in charge of the prosecutions. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Frank W. Volk.