Skip to main content
Press Release

Raleigh County Couple Sentenced for Roles in Drug and Gun Crimes

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Raleigh County couple were sentenced today to prison for their roles in federal drug and gun charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Billy Joe Lesher, 40, of Beckley, was sentenced to 96 months in prison for possessing with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine.  Kimberly York, 33, also from Beckley, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.   The drug trafficking crime involved the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.   Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of the Beckley Police Department, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). 

“Meth dealers and guns. Different names, but the result is the same – lengthy federal prison sentences,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. 

Lesher previously admitted that on October 24, 2018, members of the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit, and ATF executed a search warrant at his residence in Beckley, West Virginia.  During the search, officers found approximately seven ounces methamphetamine that defendant admitted he possessed with the intent to distribute.  Lesher also admitted that he possessed methamphetamine on March 10, 2018.  On this date, Lesher admitted that he was the subject of a traffic stop in Beckley.  After he was stopped, officers found approximately 38 grams of methamphetamine, a set of digital scales, two firearms, and almost $12,000 in cash in his car.  After the traffic stop, officers also searched defendant’s residence and found approximately 33 ounces, or about two pounds, of methamphetamine.  Lesher admitted that he intended to distribute this methamphetamine in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Further, as part of his plea, Lesher also admitted to distributing quantities of heroin on two different dates. 

York previously admitted that on March 10, 2018, she was a passenger in a car driven by her companion and co-defendant, Billy Lesher.  The car was stopped by police near Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley for speeding. During the traffic stop, officers found approximately 38 grams of methamphetamine, a set of digital scales, guns, and almost $12,000 in cash in the car.  A Taurus .357 revolver was found in York’s purse along with a small amount of heroin.  York admitted that she knew the methamphetamine found in the car was possessed with the intent to distribute it in and around Raleigh County.  She also admitted that she possessed the firearm as protection for both her and Lesher as they engaged in drug trafficking activity.    

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecutions. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentences.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


Follow us on Twitter: SDWVNews  


Updated August 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods