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Press Release

Ringleader Pleads Guilty in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Case

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Derrell Cashawn Massey, also known as “Rell,” and “Fat Rell,” 34, of Detroit, Michigan, pleaded guilty to distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Massey admitted to a leading role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the Southern District of West Virginia.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 3, 2023, Massey distributed approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine to a confidential informant at a Ninth Street residence in Huntington where Massey was living. The confidential informant had called Massey beforehand to arrange the transaction, agreeing to pay $2,000 in exchange for the methamphetamine.

Massey admitted to the transaction and further admitted to participating in the DTO from at least November 2022 through November 2023. Massey’s participation included arranging for quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl to be transported from Detroit and other areas to Huntington for distribution. Massey also distributed at least 30 pounds of methamphetamine to a specific customer in Nito, West Virginia, and directed other individuals to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl to various customers. Massey admitted that he aided and abetted the distribution of a total of 8.6 pounds of methamphetamine on 10 separate occasions between February 27, 2023, and September 7, 2023.

Massey and other DTO participants used multiple residences to store and distribute quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, including Massey’s Ninth Avenue residence in Huntington. On September 12, 2023, law enforcement officers seized six 9mm semiautomatic pistols at Massey’s Ninth Avenue residence.

Massey is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

Massey is among 27 individuals indicted in a 53-count indictment that charges the defendants with distributing methamphetamine and fentanyl transported from Detroit, Michigan, in Huntington and other locations within the Southern District of West Virginia.

Massey is also among 21 defendants who have pleaded guilty in the main case. One other of the 27 indicted individuals pleaded guilty to a related offense in a separate case. The indictment against the remaining defendants is pending. An indictment is merely an allegation and the 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 Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 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.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Stephanie Taylor are 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. 3:23-cr-180. 





Updated April 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking