South Charleston man pleads guilty to federal methamphetamine crime
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A South Charleston man pleaded guilty today to a federal drug crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Mark Bays, 53, entered his guilty plea to maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing methamphetamine.
Bays admitted that from late 2013 through at least March 2014, that he, along with codefendant Joseph Cooper and other individuals, received methamphetamine from California, which they stored and distributed from Bays’ residence in Charleston. During that time period, Bays allowed Cooper to live in the residence part-time while they worked together to distribute methamphetamine.
Bays faces up to five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on March 21, 2017.
Cooper previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a minimum of 5 years and up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 19, 2017. Benjamin Childers, another individual implicated in this investigation, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison when he is sentenced on January 4, 2017. Also as a result of this investigation, four other codefendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Morgan Light, Mark Cobb, Harold Lee Parsons, and Shayne Shamblen each face up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced in February 2017.
The investigation of these cases was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is responsible for these prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., is presiding over these cases.
These cases are being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.
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