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Press Release

Two defendants sentenced in Beckley for Federal crimes

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A White Sulphur Springs woman and a Beckley felon were sentenced today in federal court, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. The sentences were imposed by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.

Paula Kay Butts, 51, of White Sulphur Springs, was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for using a phone to facilitate methamphetamine distribution. Butts previously pleaded guilty in November 2015 to the federal drug crime. Butts admitted that on June 27, 2015, while in White Sulphur Springs, she texted a confidential informant working with law enforcement to arrange a drug deal. Later that day, Butts met the informant and distributed methamphetamine.

Leon Eugene Smith, Jr., 35, of Beckley, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. Smith previously pleaded guilty in October 2015 to the federal gun crime. Smith was prohibited under federal law from possessing any firearm because of a 2005 felony conviction in federal court for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.  

The case against Butts was investigated by the Greenbrier Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force as part of the Greenbrier Valley Heroin and Pill Initiative, a multi-agency effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office to combat drug trafficking in communities across the Southern District of West Virginia.

The case against Smith was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Beckley Police Department as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

Updated February 3, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods