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Press Release

Three defendants plead guilty to roles in large-scale methamphetamine conspiracy

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three defendants pleaded guilty today to federal drug crimes for their roles in a large-scale drug trafficking organization, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Morgan Light, 24, of Charleston and Las Vegas, Mark Cobb, 30, of St. Albans, and Shayne Shamblen, 47, of St. Albans, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

As part of a comprehensive investigation, agents from the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, and Homeland Security Investigations intercepted several mail packages that contained methamphetamine, other drugs, or drug proceeds. Since January 2014, several pounds of methamphetamine were transported from California and Nevada into the Southern District of West Virginia via the United States mail or through individuals driving packages of drugs into the area. Light, Cobb, and Shamblen each admitted that they worked with Joseph Cooper, a codefendant, to arrange for the shipment and transport of methamphetamine to West Virginia.

Light’s handwriting was found on at least one package that contained over 100 grams of crystal methamphetamine. Shamblen admitted that he arranged for the shipment of that same package and intended to distribute the methamphetamine contained in the package. Cobb lived with Light and Cooper in Nevada for a short time, and also helped with the packaging and distribution of methamphetamine. Cobb’s fingerprint was found on a package containing approximately 3 grams of crystal methamphetamine that was sent to an individual in St. Albans. The methamphetamine from both of the packages was laboratory tested and found to be over 90% pure.

Light, Cobb, and Shamblen each face up to 20 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on February 2, 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 involved with the transport of methamphetamine in this drug trafficking organization, 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is responsible for the prosecution. 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.

Updated November 2, 2016

Drug Trafficking