Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 5, 2012

Bluefield Pill Initiative: Mercer man sentenced to 3 years

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A Mercer County man has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for illegally distributing prescription drugs as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative.

Benjamin Jamalle Lane, 35, of Montcalm previously pleaded guilty to distribution of oxycodone in August, according to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office. U.S. District Court Senior Judge David A. Faber sentenced Lane to three years and one month in prison for distribution of oxycodone.

Lane admitted selling two 30-milligram oxycodone pills, also known as “Roxicodone,” to a person cooperating with law enforcement on Feb. 29, 2012 as well as to confidential informants on March 5, 2012 and March 12, 2012. All three transactions took place in the Montcalm area, according to Goodwin.

Goodwin said Lane also admitted he is responsible for distributing a total of 480 30-milligram pills during a four month period.

Since June 2011, 23 individuals including Lane have been sentenced for illegally distributing prescription drugs and other illegal narcotics as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative. These defendants have been sentenced to a total of more than 43 years in prison.

The Bluefield Pill Initiative is a collaborative, multi-agency regional law enforcement effort designed to halt prescription drug trafficking in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties.  The Bluefield Pill Initiative is led by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation; the Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Departments, and the Bluefield and Princeton Police Departments.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Miller Bushong and John File are in charge of the prosecutions.   

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.comę½®