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Press Release

Operation X-Nation: Princeton Man Enters Guilty Plea to Federal Drug Crime

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

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – A Princeton man pled guilty today for his participation in a drug trafficking operation in Mercer County, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. David Simmons, 51, of Princeton, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute a quantity of oxymorphone and oxycodone.  Simmons was charged as a result of a long-term, multi-state, investigation known as Operation X-Nation. 

“Operation X-Nation demonstrates our continued efforts to hold prescription pill traffickers accountable,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Although we have made tremendous progress in that regard, we are not ‘taking our eye off the ball’.”

Simmons admitted that between August 2017, and August 31, 2019, he participated in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Mercer County, West Virginia.  During this time period, Simmons worked with other members of the DTO to acquire and distribute prescription pills in and around Mercer County, within the Southern District of West Virginia.  In or about the month of August, 2019, Simmons had telephone calls intercepted by law enforcement.  During these calls, Simmons was discussing the distribution of oxymorphone and oxycodone with other members of the DTO.  During this time period, Simmons admitted that he was responsible for conspiring to distribute approximately 210 oxymorphone pills and approximately 257 oxycodone pills.   Simmons also admitted it was the plan to re-distribute the pills in and around Mercer County. 

Simmons faces up to 20 years in federal prison and $1 million fine when he is sentenced on July 6, 2020.   

Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which is composed of officers from the West Virginia State Police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the Princeton Police Department, and the Bluefield Police Department.   Each agency provided additional and essential support throughout this investigation. 

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of the prosecution.  The plea hearing was held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

This case was brought under the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF 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.  Today, 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.


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Updated March 16, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs