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Press Release

Third Defendant Sentenced for Fentanyl-laced Pills Purchased through Social Media Platforms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Cheyenne Carico Will Serve 36 Months in Federal Prison

ABINGDON, Va. – A Norton, Virginia woman, who sold pressed pills containing fentanyl purchased via social media platforms, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to 36 months in federal prison.

Cheyenne Cassie Carico, 20, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to one count of conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.

As part of the same conspiracy, Paul Mason Perkins, 21, of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, was sentenced to 42 months, and Austin Jeremiah Lane, 23, of Norton, Virginia, was sentenced to 36 months earlier this year.

According to court documents, between February 2021 and February 2022, Perkins used the social media platforms Snapchat and Instagram to purchase thousands of pressed pills containing fentanyl every few weeks from a dealer located in California. Perkins had the pills mailed to his residence in Big Stone Gap where he then redistributed the pills to other individuals throughout Wise County, including multiple sales to co-conspirators Lane and Carico.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, Michael Weddel, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Atlanta Division made the announcement.

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Norton Police Department, the Southwest Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena Busscher prosecuted the case.

Updated May 9, 2023