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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two pill dealers prosecuted for Federal drug crimes in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two defendants were prosecuted today in federal court for drug crimes involving pain pills, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto.

Karen Sue Fields, 45, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, was sentenced to three years and a month in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and alprazolam. Fields previously pleaded guilty to the federal drug crime in September of 2015. On July 6, 2014, a motorist flagged down an officer with the Huntington Police Department on 5th Street in Huntington. The motorist alerted the officer to another vehicle driving erratically on 5th Street. The officer located the vehicle, operated by Fields, and conducted a traffic stop after Fields made several abrupt turns in an attempt to evade the officer. During the course of the stop, the officer observed multiple bags of pills in the floorboard of the vehicle. After conducting a search, the officer located over 800 oxycodone tablets and over 50 alprazolam tablets. Fields admitted she had purchased the pills for $17,500 and was on her way back to Kentucky to deliver the pills to another individual.

Derrick Bernard Pritchett, 32, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to illegally selling prescription pills. On August 10, 2015, a confidential informant working with the DEA Task Force contacted Pritchett to arrange a drug deal. Pritchett met the informant on the 1200 block of Jackson Avenue in Huntington and sold the informant nine 30 mg oxycodone pills and one 2 mg alprazolam pill. Pritchett faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on April 25, 2016.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation of Fields. The investigation of Pritchett was conducted by the DEA Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is in charge of the prosecutions. The hearings were held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

These cases are 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 prescription drugs and heroin. 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 pills and heroin in communities across the Southern District. 

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated January 19, 2016