Federal court reports
Jul 17, 2023
Charleston man pleads guilty to having pictures and videos of child pornography
charleston, w.va. – Timothy Duncan, 43, of Charleston, pleaded guilty this week to possession of prepubescent child pornography.
According to court records, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Oct. 24, 2022, at Duncan’s residence and seized electronic devices including a cell phone. A forensic analysis of the cell phone revealed 18 videos and 13 images of child pornography. One image depicted an adult male sexually assaulting a prepubescent female.
A search warrant executed for Duncan’s email account revealed 10 videos of child pornography, including one video that contained 69 individual videos. One of the 69 videos in the collection depicted an adult male sexually assaulting a prepubescent female.
Duncan is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 20 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Duncan must also register as a sex offender.
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Huntington man pleads guilty to dealing fentanyl
huntington, w.va. – Darrail Antoine Pulley, 24, of Huntington, pleaded guilty Monday to distribution of fentanyl.
According to court records, Pulley sold approximately 1.39 grams of fentanyl on March 17 to a confidential informant in an alley behind a residence on the 1800 block of Ninth Avenue in Huntington.
Pulley is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 27 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
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Putnam man faces 20 years in prison for drug dealing
charleston, w.va. – Gregory Alan Haston II, 39, of Scott Depot, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to court records, on Jan. 2, 2023, Haston was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by a law enforcement officer in the St. Albans area. During a search of the vehicle, the officer seized a bag that he found on the floor near Haston’s feet. Haston admitted that the bag contained approximately 76 grams of fentanyl, which he possessed with the intent to distribute.
Haston is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 6 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
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Ohio man can’t outrun police, facing mandatory 10 years
charleston, w.va. – Leslie Russell Burney, 36, of Groveport, Ohio, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
According to court records, a law enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop on Oct. 20, 2021, of a vehicle driven by Burney on Interstate 77 in the area of Ripley, W.Va. After the officer approached the vehicle and asked for his driver’s license, Burney drove off in an attempt to flee. Officers pursued Burney’s vehicle until he stopped off of the interstate and fled on foot with a red backpack from his vehicle. Officers located and captured Burney and seized the backpack. Burney admitted that the backpack contained more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. Burney further admitted that he was going to receive payment to deliver the drugs in the backpack and fled the traffic stop because he did not want the drugs to be discovered.
Burney is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 5 and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.
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Putnam man pleads guilty
to role in meth trafficking
charleston, w.va. – Scott Jeremy Savage, 46, of Nitro, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
According to court records, Savage conspired with others to distribute fentanyl while living in Putnam County. Savage admitted to purchasing fentanyl from a co-defendant who lived in the Charleston area and to arranging transactions with this co-defendant by cell phone. Savage further admitted that the co-defendant often fronted him the fentanyl and he would pay the co-defendant back after he sold it.
On Oct. 17, 2022, Savage sold approximately 2.23 grams of fentanyl to a confidential informant at his residence. On Oct. 18, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Savage’s residence and seized approximately 2.93 grams of fentanyl, 2.2 grams of methamphetamine, and a loaded Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol.
On Jan. 27, Savage exchanged phone calls and text messages with the co-defendant to arrange the purchase of a one-quarter ounce of fentanyl. Savage admitted that he believed he would have an easier time mixing that quantity with cutting agents to increase its volume and maximize his profits. Savage further admitted that he agreed with the co-defendant that he owed $445 from prior fentanyl transactions.
During a phone call the next day, Savage told the co-defendant that customers had complained about the fentanyl he had purchased the day before and asked the co-defendant to provide stronger fentanyl. Savage admitted that the co-defendant agreed to provide him with four to five grams of fentanyl. On March 9, Savage sold approximately 1.3 grams of fentanyl to a confidential informant at a Putnam County gas station.
Savage is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
Savage is among 30 individuals indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a major drug trafficking investigation that has yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history. Law enforcement seized well over 200 pounds of methamphetamine as well as 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 firearms and $747,000 in cash.
Nineteen of the defendants have pleaded guilty. Indictments against the other defendants are pending.
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