CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Todd Tyler Snead, 57, of Waynesboro, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, admitting to a role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in the Charleston area.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Snead admitted to traveling to St. Albans on March 14, 2023 to obtain approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine from a co-defendant. Law enforcement officers followed Snead back to a hotel in Cross Lanes, where they searched the trunk of his vehicle, found the methamphetamine and arrested him. Snead had obtained pound-level quantities of methamphetamine from the co-defendant for several months leading up to his arrest.
Snead is scheduled to be sentenced on September 6, 2023, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.
Snead is among 30 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 200 pounds of methamphetamine as well as 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 firearms and $747,000 in cash.
Seven other co-defendants have pleaded guilty. Indictments against the other defendants are pending. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent 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-31.