Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 5, 2013

3 sentenced in district court

Defendants part of Bluefield Pill Initiative

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Three sentencing orders were filed on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Bluefield reflecting sentences given to three defendants in the multidisciplinary law enforcement effort known as the Bluefield Pill Initiative.

One defendant, Rickey David Coburn II, 26, of Princeton, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to count three of a seven-count federal indictment returned on June 6.

Coburn was charged with distribution of a quantity of hydromorphone.

Two additional defendants including Aaron O. Gamble, 30, of Princeton, and Ralph Ray Cantley, 54, of Matheny (Wyoming County) were both sentenced to probation after pleading to count three, and count 46 respectively of a 51-count federal indictment also returned by a federal grand jury on June 6

Gamble pleaded guilty to distributing of a quantity of oxycodone on Sept. 19, 2012, at or near Matheny, and Cantley had pleaded guilty to using a communications facility in the commission of a felony, that is the distribution of a quantity of oxycodone.

In addition to sentencing Coburn to a prison term, Senior Status Judge David A. Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia sentenced Gamble to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. The court also sentenced Cantley three years of probation and also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Miller A. Bushong represented the government in the three cases.

U.S. Public Defender Mary Lou Newberger of the Southern District of West Virginia represented Gamble.

Sean T. Logue represented Cantley.

Michael R. Whitt represented Coburn.

The case was investigated by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force that is made up of the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the sheriff’s departments of Mercer, Wyoming and McDowell counties as well as the police departments of Princeton and Bluefield.

— Contact Bill Archer at