Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 14, 2013

1 pleads guilty to drug charge

CHARLESTON — Another defendant who was arrested as part of the on-going Bluefield Pill Initiative, pled guilty to count one, of a three-count federal indictment, charging her with illegally distributing the prescription pain medication, oxycodone.

Laura Jennings, 54, of Maybeury, had been named in a three-count federal indictment returned on Jan. 15 by a federal grand jury meeting in Beckley. Jennings had been scheduled to appear on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Charleston for a pre-trial motions hearing, but earlier this week the court received a motion requesting the hearing to be changed to a guilty plea hearing.

Jennings, who was represented by Federal Public Defender Mary Lou Newberger, pled guilty to count one of the indictment at the hearing, court documents reveal.

Senior Status U.S. District Judge David A. Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia scheduled sentencing for Jennings at 11:30 a.m. on July 1, in Bluefield.

The court continued Jennings’ supervised release on her current bond pending sentencing.

The Southern Regional Drug & Violent Crime Task Force investigated the case for the government. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miller Bushong represented the government at the plea hearing, according to court documents.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin worked with the Mercer County prosecuting attorney’s office as well as regional law enforcement agencies to battle the prescription drug abuse problem in the region.


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