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Press Release

Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Kanawha County Man Pleads Guilty to Major Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Antonio Lamar Jeffries, 35, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Jeffries admitted to a key role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in the Charleston area.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between November 2022 and March 22, 2023, Jeffries conspired with others to distribute quantities of methamphetamine. Jeffries admitted that he arranged for a co-conspirator to drive to Bluefield, West Virginia, on February 4, 2023, to obtain methamphetamine from his supplier. Jeffries used a cell phone to arrange the meeting, provided the co-conspirator with money to deliver as payment for the methamphetamine, and instructed her to meet his supplier at the Mercer Mall in Bluefield.

The co-conspirator exchanged the money for the methamphetamine as instructed. Law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop of her vehicle as she drove back to Charleston and seized approximately 3.1 kilograms of methamphetamine from her vehicle. Jeffries admitted that he intended to distribute some of the seized methamphetamine to others and allow the co-conspirator to keep the rest.

Jeffries is scheduled to be sentenced on October 7, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in prison, at least 10 years of supervised release, and a $20 million fine.

Jeffries is among 32 individuals indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a major drug trafficking investigation that has yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history. Law enforcement seized well over 400 pounds of methamphetamine as well as 40 pounds of cocaine, 3 pounds of fentanyl, 19 firearms and $935,000 in cash.

Jeffries is also among 28 defendants who have pleaded guilty. Indictments against the other defendants are pending. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard Counter Drug program, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe is prosecuting the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-33. 




Updated June 17, 2024

Drug Trafficking