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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Two defendants appear in Federal court on drug charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two defendants appeared in federal court today on drug charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Sarah Elizabeth Myers, 28, of South Charleston was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in federal prison and fined $5,000 for possession with intent to distribute heroin. In a separate drug prosecution, Daniel Branden O’Dell, 35, of Winston, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Myers previously pleaded guilty and admitted that on May 15, 2015, she traveled to Columbus to pick up a supply of heroin. When she returned to West Virginia, law enforcement stopped her for speeding. During the stop, officers found over 100 grams of heroin hidden in the rear passenger side door panel. Myers admitted it was her intent to distribute the heroin in the Charleston area.

On October 30, 2015, in a separate drug prosecution, members of the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department and the Summersville Police Department arrested O’Dell at a hotel in Summersville as part of a stolen vehicle investigation. Upon searching the room, police found methamphetamine and a loaded .45 caliber pistol that had been reported as stolen. O’Dell admitted driving from Georgia to Pennsylvania, where he intended to sell the methamphetamine. He further admitted purchasing the stolen firearm in Georgia. O’Dell has a lengthy criminal record that includes three felony drug convictions. Pursuant to the plea agreement, O’Dell faces between 30 and 46 months when he is sentenced on August 11, 2016.

The Myers case was investigated by the South Charleston Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is responsible for the prosecution of Myers. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., imposed the sentence.

The Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department and the Summersville Police Department investigated the O’Dell case. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is in charge of the O’Dell prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.

The O’Dell case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by working with existing local programs that target gun crime.

Both cases were brought as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat illegal drugs in our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of drugs in communities across the Southern District. 

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated May 11, 2016