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Press Release

Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Sentencing of Charleston Man Marks Major Milestone in Takedown of Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Defendant among 27 Convicted in Case that Yielded Largest Methamphetamine Seizure in West Virginia History

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The recent sentencing of Jasper Wemh, 39, of Charleston, to 16 years and eight months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, marks a significant milestone in a four-indictment drug trafficking organization (DTO) case that yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history.

Wemh is among 27 of 32 defendants who have pleaded guilty in the case and among 20 sentenced to prison. The case is the result of a major drug trafficking investigation dubbed Operation Smoke and Mirrors in which 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.

The Court cited the “dedicated and relentless” work of law enforcement in the case when sentencing Wemh. The Court also said the case represents an aggressive and ongoing effort by law enforcement to target traffickers of such “incredibly damaging” drugs as methamphetamine.

“This case is a great example of what happens when you put an outstanding team of law enforcement together,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson. “Cases such as this are made possible by everyone working together on the same team.”

“This is a clear testament to the power of collaboration between the FBI and our federal, state, and local partners. These individuals threaten the safety of our community whether it be from bringing in these poisonous drugs or from the violence often associated with the drug trade,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek. “We’re proud of the work our investigators conducted to seize a record amount of illegal drugs. The FBI and our partners stand committed to keeping these drugs, and those peddling them, off our streets and out of our communities.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, Wemh is responsible for over 85 pounds of methamphetamine distributed by the DTO in 2022. Wemh routinely completed transactions involving multiple pounds at a time, and sold over 20 pounds of methamphetamine during a single night on December 4, 2022.

Wemh obtained methamphetamine from his out-of-state supplier on consignment, distributing the methamphetamine to multiple customers and paying his supplier from the proceeds from distributing the supplier’s methamphetamine. Wemh made payments totaling $250,000 to a runner working on behalf of his supplier to repay his methamphetamine debts. Wemh often provided methamphetamine to his customers on consignment, knowing they were redistributing the methamphetamine he sold them.

Wemh also admitted to conspiring with other people to distribute cocaine base, also known as “crack,” that he received from his supplier on occasions prior to December 3, 2022. Wemh stored quantities of methamphetamine, crack and cocaine at a Greenbrier Street residence in Charleston. Wemh admitted that he frequently obtained these drugs from a safe in the residence, and that a pistol was kept in that safe as well.

Wemh is the lead defendant in one of the four indictments in the case, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He was sentenced on May 2, 2024. Wemh has a long criminal history that includes a prior conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on March 7, 2011. The Court cited Wemh’s criminal history at sentencing.

Among the other defendants sentenced to prison in the case:

  • Michael Allen Roberts Jr., 41, of St. Albans, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on March 6, 2024, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine.
  • Justin Allen Bowen, 41, of Charleston, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison on August 31, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Perry Johnson Jr., 30, of Dunwoody, Georgia, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison on April 11, 2024, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Todd Tyler Snead, 58, of Waynesboro, Virginia, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on September 6, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Ryan Keith Kincaid, 47, of South Charleston, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on December 8, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
  • Telisa Rene McCauley, 32, of Charleston, was sentenced to nine years in prison on November 9, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Les Van Bumpus, 35, of Charleston, was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison on January 22, 2024, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.

Indictments against five 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.

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 imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe prosecuted 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 Nos. 2:23-cr-4 (Wemh et al.), 2:23-cr-31 (Jeffries et al.), 2:23-cr-33 (Estep et al.) and 2:23-cr-32 (Gonzalez et al.).


A video of the press conference announcing this update is located on the YouTube Channel for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia:




Updated May 7, 2024

Community Outreach
Drug Trafficking