Three More Defendants Plead Guilty for Roles in Federal Drug Conspiracy
Defendants are latest to plead guilty out of nearly two dozen indicted after long-term narcotics investigation
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Three Beckley men pled guilty today for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Shaun A. Jones, 40, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Corey D. Larkin, 38, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin. Jonathan Vincent Moore, 34, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Jones, Larkin, and Moore are three of 23 defendants indicted in June 2017 after a comprehensive investigation of drug trafficking in Southern West Virginia.
U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of several agencies, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Beckley Police Department, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service also provided assistance throughout the investigation.
“This case shows how united and determined we are in fighting the drug scourge,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “With 23 defendants charged, the results speak for themselves. Drug dealers had better take notice that all levels of law enforcement – federal, state, and local – are working together to make sure that drug crime results in hard time.”
Shaun Jones admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy with multiple participants involving the distribution of cocaine and heroin. Jones admitted to working with James Rodney Staples and others to distribute cocaine and heroin in and around Raleigh County. Jones also admitted that on June 28, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence. During the search officers found over 200 grams of heroin, a quantity of methamphetamine, a quantity of cocaine, and over $50,000 in cash. Jones admitted he intended to distribute the controlled substances found in his house. He also agreed to forfeit the cash as it represented the proceeds of his illegal drug trafficking activity.
Corey D. Larkin admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he participated in a drug trafficking organization that distributed cocaine and heroin in and around Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. During this time he admitted to distributing approximately one kilogram of cocaine. Larkin also admitted that on June 14, 2017, police officers made a traffic stop on a car he was driving. During the stop, officers seized 133.97 grams of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl, and $2,983 in cash. Larkin further admitted that on June 28, 2017, police officers executed a search warrant at his residence in Beckley. Officers found over $8,000 in cash, approximately 41 grams of cocaine, and a kilo press, often used to compress powder cocaine into “bricks.” Larkin has agreed to forfeit all the cash seized.
Jonathan Vincent Moore also admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he took part in the drug trafficking conspiracy with multiple participants involving the distribution of cocaine and heroin. He further admitted that on April 26, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of a confidential informant, made a controlled purchase of approximately one ounce of cocaine from Moore at his residence in Beckley. He also admitted that on June 28, 2017, a search warrant was executed at his residence. During the search, officers found over 1,500 grams of cocaine, eight firearms, and over $90,000 in cash. He agreed to forfeit the firearms and over $90,000 in cash that was obtained through the illegal drug trafficking.
Jones, Larkin, and Moore each face at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced. Jones and Moore are scheduled for sentencing on May 29, 2018. Larkin’s sentencing is scheduled for June 5, 2018.
Several individuals implicated as a result of this investigation have entered guilty pleas to drug charges and are awaiting sentencing. Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, two brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 14, 2018. Velarian Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of not less than 20 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Dominic Copney, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Detria Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than five and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 24, 2018. Donald Scalise, of Montgomery, faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 25, 2018. Tiffany Ramsey, of Boomer, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on May 2, 2018. Shawn Akiem Anderson, of Mt. Hope, faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018. Rory White, of Montgomery, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 6, 2018.
Karl Funderburk, of Teays Valley, who previously pled guilty to a gun charge, faces at least 5 years and up to life in federal prison for using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of these prosecutions. The Jones, Larkin, and Moore plea hearings were held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.
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. 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.