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Press Release

Three More Defendants Sentenced to Federal Prison for Their Roles in a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

Defendants are the latest to be sentenced out of nearly two dozen defendants after long-term narcotics investigation

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. –  Three more defendants were sentenced today to federal prison for their roles in a drug trafficking organization, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  James Rodney Staples, 39, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was sentenced to 151 months, or 12 years and 7 months, in federal prison.  Karl Funderburk, 32, of Teays Valley, and George Brockman II, 38, of Montgomery, were sentenced to federal prison for 60 months and 108 months, respectively.    

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.

“I cannot say enough about the outstanding work of our law enforcement partners,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This was a complex, long-term investigation of a significant drug trafficking organization that was wreaking havoc in southern West Virginia.  As a result of the tireless efforts of our law enforcement officers, this drug business has been shut down.”  

James Rodney Staples previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of cocaine base, and more than one kilogram of heroin.  At the plea hearing Staples 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, cocaine base, also known as “crack,” and heroin.  Staples admitted that Velarian Carter, another co-defendant in this case, requested his help in operating the drug trafficking organization while Carter was incarcerated on other drug charges.  Staples admitted he paid other members to assist him in distributing the controlled substances and to collect money acquired through the illegal drug trafficking.  As part of the agreement, Staples agreed to the forfeiture of $50,000, which represented proceeds of his illegal drug trafficking activity. 

Funderburk previously entered a guilty plea to using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  At his plea hearing Funderburk admitted that between August 2016 and March 1, 2017, he assisted Velarian Carter, Detria Carter, and others, in operating a drug trafficking organization. Funderburk also admitted that on March 1, 2017, he was arrested in Charleston, and during a subsequent search, police discovered that he possessed cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine. Funderburk also possessed a Glock 27, .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol, that he admitted was used for protection of his drugs and drug proceeds.

George E. Brockman, II previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, a quantity of cocaine, and a quantity of oxycodone.  At the plea hearing, Brockman had admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy with multiple participants involving the distribution of heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone.  Brockman further admitted that he obtained over 100 grams of heroin from another co-defendant in this case, and intended to distribute the heroin in the southern district of West Virginia.  Brockman also admitted that due to quality issues, he requested another co-defendant, James Rodney Staples, to exchange the heroin for cocaine, which he also planned to distribute in the southern district of West Virginia.  Brockman was working with other members of the drug trafficking organization to obtain a kilogram of heroin and approximately 2000 oxycodone tablets to distribute around Fayette County.  On June 28, 2017, pursuant to searches performed by law enforcement, police officers recovered 84.49 grams of heroin from a truck that Brockman possessed and over $124,000 that Brockman admitted were drug proceeds.  $115,000 of that money was found in the trunk of a 2008 Ford Mustang GT500.  Brockman has agreed to forfeit the cash as well as the Ford Mustang.  As part of the plea defendant further agreed to the forfeiture of a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. 

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecutions.  Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentences.

Shaun Givens is the sole defendant that is still awaiting sentencing.  Givens faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 27, 2018. 

Several defendants in this case have already been sentenced.  Velarian Carter of Beckley was recently sentenced to 240 months, or 20 years in federal prison for his participation in this drug trafficking organization.  His sentence was ordered to run consecutively to a 20 year sentence Mr. Carter is already serving on unrelated drug charges.  Detria Carter of Beckley, the sister of Velarian Carter, was recently sentenced to 151 months, or 12 years and seven months in federal prison.  Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, were sentenced to 12 years, and 16 years and 8 months in prison, respectively.  Rory White of Montgomery was sentenced to 125 months in federal prison.  Tiffany Ramsey, also from Boomer, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.  Dominic Copney, of Beckley, has been sentenced to 2 years in federal prison. Donald Scalise, of Montgomery, was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute oxycodone. 

On July 10 and July 11, 2018, Judge David A. Faber sentenced Esau Burnett, of Beckley, to 66 months in federal prison, Shawn Akiem Anderson, of Mount Hope, to 108 months in federal prison, and Shaun Jones, also of Beckley, to 120 months in federal prison.  He also sentenced to Jonathan V. Moore, and Charles Hill, both of Beckley to 97 months and 60 months, respectively.  Corey Larkin, of Beckley, was previously sentenced to 188 months in federal prison after he was determined to be a career offender.

David Shaun Coleman of Boomer was previously sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, while Rashaun Carter of Beckley and Derrick Staples of Charleston were each sentenced to 121 months in federal prison.  Jonathan O. Brockman, the brother of George E. Brockman, II, of Kimberly, Fayette County, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison.  Coleman, Carter, Staples and Brockman were also sentenced by Senior Judge David A. Faber. 


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Updated August 13, 2018

Drug Trafficking