Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that two men pled guilty today to federal drug charges.
“If the fentanyl in these cases had hit the streets, over 25,000 people could have died. Enough fentanyl to kill over half the city of Charleston,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We are producing significant results in Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.). It’s simple -- if you deal fentanyl, I will do everything in my power to lock you up as long as possible..”
Todd Stephens, 33, from Detroit, Michigan, entered his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, namely fentanyl. The investigation was conducted by MDENT. Stephens admitted that on August 28, 2017, he sold what he thought was heroin to a woman. Based on that sale, MDENT detectives were able to get a search warrant for the Charleston apartment. During the search of the residence, over 50 grams of fentanyl was seized along with other contraband. Stephens faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 6, 2019. United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the plea hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Alex Hamner is handling the prosecution.
Peyton Young, 25, from South Point, Ohio, entered a guilty plea in United States District Court in Huntington to an indictment charging him with distribution of fentanyl. Young admitted that on February 12, 2018, he met a confidential informant in the 400 block of West 10th Street in Huntington and gave the informant fentanyl in exchange for $80. As part of his plea agreement, Young also admitted that he sold heroin to an informant in April 2018 in Huntington. Young faces up to twenty years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 8, 2019. The Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers. Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecution.
These cases are being prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), an enforcement surge that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas.
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