Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two Huntington men who participated in a multi-state drug ring appeared today in federal court.
Aaron Scott Midkiff, 36, was sentenced to six years and five months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 14, 2021, Midkiff was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by deputies with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department. Midkiff had approximately 166 grams of methamphetamine in his possession at the time deputies initiated the traffic stop. The methamphetamine was thrown out of the vehicle just prior to the vehicle stopping and was recovered by deputies. Midkiff also had digital scales, plastic bags, and $6,617 in his possession.
William Edward Nellons, Jr., 38, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl. According to the plea agreement and statements made in court, Nellons admitted that he participated with others in the conspiracy from April to July 2021. During the conspiracy, Nellons regularly received cocaine and fentanyl which he distributed to others in the Huntington area. At times, Nellons received the drugs on consignment and returned drug proceeds to his source of supply after he conducted the distributions. Nellons also admitted that he utilized a co-conspirator’s residence to store fentanyl that he distributed during the conspiracy. Nellons faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 23, 2022.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force. The Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force consists of the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Hurricane Police Department, and the Marshall University Police Department, with support from the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West. The Ohio Highway Patrol, the Kentucky State Police, and the FBI and DEA in Columbus, Ohio also assisted in the investigation.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Courtney L. Cremeans and Joseph F. Adams are handling the prosecution.
The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-00109.