Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 9, 2013

District Court busy with pill initiative cases

BLUEFIELD — A new indictment naming two McDowell County men on charges related to the distribution of oxycodone that was returned on Tuesday, was unsealed Thursday afternoon after the two suspects were taken into custody, capping off an extremely busy week at U.S. District Court in Bluefield.

Richard Travis Robinette Jr., 39, and Tobi Ledawn Jones, 25, were both named in count one, of a four-count indictment returned on Aug. 6, by a federal grand jury meeting in Beckley. Count one alleges that the two men conspired between September 2004 to January 2011 to distribute a quantity of oxycodone in the Avondale area.

In addition to count one, Robinette is named in count four of the indictment alleging that he distributed oxycodone on Sept. 16, 2010. Jones is also named in counts two and three of the indictment, alleging that on April 29, 2010 he aided and abetted another person to distribute oxycodone in count two, and on the same date, is alleged to have used a communication device in distributing oxycodone in count three.

Both men are scheduled to have their initial appearances in Bluefield before U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervort at 1 p.m. on Aug. 13. They were arrested as part of a joint investigation conducted by the Southern Regional Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, the Charleston Drug Enforcement Agency and authorities in North Carolina, according to Sgt. J. Centeno of the West Virginia State Police who heads up the Southern Regional Task Force.

Also on Thursday, and prior to the arrests of Robinette and Jones, two defendants in the 51-count indictment returned May 30, by a federal grand jury meeting in Charleston, pleaded guilty to charges contained in the indictment.

Laken Nicole Myers, 25, of Welch pleaded guilty before Senior Status Judge David A. Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia on count 24, for using a telephone in the commission of a felony, that is distribution of oxycodone. Ralph Ray Cantley, 54, of Matheny also pleaded guilty to count 46, alleging using a telephone to distribute oxycodone. Faber scheduled Myers’ sentencing for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 17, in Bluefield, and scheduled Cantley’s sentencing for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 3, also in Bluefield.

Also on Thursday, Jennifer Marie Farley, 29, of Princeton, was ordered to self-report to Southern Regional Jail in Beaver no later than noon on Aug. 4. Farley was not one of the defendants indicted in the 51-count indictment. She had pleaded guilty on Monday to count three of an indictment naming her and alleging that she distributed hydromorphone. The court scheduled her sentencing for Dec. 17, in Bluefield, but conducted a telephonic conference detention hearing with her counsel and VanDervort who ordered her to self-report.

On Wednesday, the court heard four guilty pleas in the 51-count indictment case that named 16 defendants. Elizabeth Ann Stewart, 35, of Matheny, pleaded guilty to count four of the indictment, alleging that she distributed a quantity of oxycodone. The court set her sentencing for Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. in Bluefield.

Tonya Lynn Goode, 35, of Matheny, pleaded guilty to count seven, of the indictment, alleging that she distributed a quantity of oxycodone. The court set her sentencing for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 10, in Bluefield.

Carlos Renaldo Ivy, 33, of Princeton pleaded guilty to count eight, of the indictment, alleging that he distributed a quantity of oxycodone. The court set his sentencing for Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. in Bluefield.

Randall Ray Parks, 51, of Welch pleaded guilty to count 33 of the indictment, alleging that he used a telephone in the commission of the felony crime of distributing oxycodone. The court set his sentencing for 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 9, in Bluefield.

Also in the same indictment, at the request of counsel, the court continued the plea hearing on Wednesday for Ansel William Ponder, 22, of Bluefield. The court continued Ponder’s bond.

The Southern Regional Drug & Violent Crime Task Force investigated all of the above cases as well as two other cases that involved sentencing earlier in the week. On Monday, Faber sentenced Robin Bolton, 43, of Princeton, on a drug distribution count. Bolton received an 18-month sentence and three years of supervised release. The court also sentenced Laura Jennings, 54, of Maybeury on Monday to five years of probation with the first five months on monitored home confinement. She pleaded guilty to one count of distributing oxycodone.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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