Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 28, 2014

Princeton woman gets 13 months for pill distribution

BLUEFIELD — A Princeton woman who sold hydromorphone pills to an undercover police informant was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bluefield to 13 months in prison.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Kristi Ball, 39, was sentenced on a charge of distributing hydromorphone. Goodwin said Ball admitted that on Jan. 16, 2013, that she sold hydromorphone pills in Princeton to an informant working with area law enforcement officials. Ball had previously pleaded guilty to the distribution charge in February. Hydromorphone is a powerful and addictive prescription pain medication.

The arrest was part of the ongoing Bluefield Pill Initiative effort.

During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Goodwin said the judge also took into consideration Ball’s admission that over a period of time she had distributed 170 hydromorphone pills.

The case was investigated by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney John File prosecuted the case.

Goodwin said the investigation was prosecuted as part of the ongoing Bluefield Pill Initiative, and was part of a continuing effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin.

Goodwin said in a press release that his 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 opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District of West Virginia.  

— Contact Charles Owens at

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