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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Two More Defendants Plead Guilty for Roles in Federal Drug Conspiracy

Defendants are latest to plead guilty out of nearly two dozen indicted after long-term narcotics investigation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two men pled guilty today for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. George E. Brockman, II, 37,  of Montgomery, entered his 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.  Charles Hill, aka “Unc,” 54, of Beckley, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base, and a quantity of cocaine.  Brockman and Hill are two of 23 defendants indicted in June 2017 after a comprehensive investigation of drug trafficking in Southern West Virginia.   U.S. Attorney 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. 

“Brockman and Hill were part of a large drug trafficking conspiracy that sold a smorgasbord of dangerous drugs,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “My Office, along with our law enforcement partners, are serious about getting drug thugs and drug punks off the streets and away from our families.  If you are a drug dealer and distributing opiates, cocaine, marijuana or any other illegal drug, we will aggressively prosecute you in the Southern District of West Virginia and seek the harshest penalties available to lock you up as long as we possibly can.”

George E. Brockman, II 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 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 further 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 also admitted to 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, 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.       

Charles Hill admitted that between August 2016 and June 28, 2017, he participated in a drug trafficking organization that distributed cocaine and more than 28 grams of cocaine base, or “crack,” in and around Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia.  Hill admitted to assisting Velarian Carter, Detria Carter, and Rashaun Carter in distributing ‘crack,” in Raleigh County.  During this time he admitted to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute approximately 15 ounces of “crack.”  Hill further admitted to meeting with other members of the drug trafficking organization to discuss and plan the manufacturing of cocaine into cocaine base.  When officers executed a search warrant at Hill’s residence in Beckley on June 28, 2017, they recovered an additional 47.17 grams of “crack” that Hill intended to distribute in the community of Beckley. 

Brockman and Hill each face at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on June 5, 2018.

Several individuals implicated as a result of this investigation have entered guilty pleas to drug charges and are awaiting sentencing. Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, two brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, have been sentenced by United States District Judge Irene Berger. Cheyenne Fragale received a sentence of 12 years in federal prison while Macon Fragale will serve 16 years and 8 months.  Velarian Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of not less than 20 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Dominic Copney, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Detria Carter, of Beckley, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than five and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 24, 2018. Donald Scalise, of Montgomery, faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 25, 2018. Tiffany Ramsey, of Boomer, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on May 2, 2018. Shawn Akiem Anderson, of Mt. Hope, faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018.   Rory White, of Montgomery, faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 6, 2018. 

Karl Funderburk, of Teays Valley, who previously pled guilty to a gun charge, faces at least 5 years and up to life in federal prison for using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime when he is sentenced on May 29, 2018.

Shaun Jones has entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.  Jonathan Moore has entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Each faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on May 29, 2018. 

Corey Larkin previously entered a plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin.  He also faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 5, 2018. 

Esau Burnette, of Beckley, has entered a plea to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine.  He faces at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 30, 2018.  James Rodney Staples, of Woodbridge, Virginia, faces at least 10 years in federal prison and up to life when he is sentenced on May 30, 2018 after entering a plea to conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of cocaine base, and more than one kilogram of heroin.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of these prosecutions. The Brockman and Hill plea hearings were held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

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

 

Follow us on Twitter: @SDWVNews and @USAttyStuart 


 
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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated March 21, 2018